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Florida extends deadline for talks on water sharing

Florida officials agreed to extend water-sharing talks with Alabama and Georgia at an emergency meeting Thursday, reversing a decision to stop negotiations on the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin at the end of this year.

Both the deadline and the mediation agreement were extended to May 1, 2001, said Doug Barr, who represents Florida in the talks.

Barr said there have been indications that an agreement might still be possible on a water allocation formula for the three rivers. "We felt like it would be productive to continue discussions."

Negotiators from the three states have been trying for almost two years to craft a regional water management plan.