February 4, 2014
SAVANNAH, Ga. - Attorneys for the state of Georgia have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay out of the latest legal battle in its 24-year fight over water rights with neighboring Florida.
Georgia filed its response last week to Florida's request for the high court to intervene in deciding how they share water that flows across the state line where the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers merge to form the Apalachicola River.
Florida officials said in an October complaint their state needs immediate relief as growing water consumption by metro Atlanta threatens Florida's oyster fishery.
"Florida has brought its case against the wrong party, in the wrong court, and at the wrong time," the Georgia lawyers wrote in their legal response.
The river system at the heart of the dispute serves Georgia, Florida and Alabama. The three states have been embroiled in legal battles since 1990 over how to share the water supply. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2011 ordered the Army Corps of Engineers, which uses dams to control flows in the river system, to work on a new water allocation plan for the region.