Tags: florida | georgia | water | rights

Florida-Georgia Water Rights Dispute Headed US Supreme Court

Tuesday, 13 Aug 2013 04:35 PM

Florida plans to file a U.S. Supreme Court lawsuit against Georgia, saying the state is consuming too much water that would otherwise flow to Florida.

Florida Governor Scott, a Republican, said today in a statement that the lawsuit will be filed in September, after more than “20 years of failed negotiations” over water distribution between the states.

Georgia’s water use threatens fisheries in the Florida panhandle city of Apalachicola, along with economic development in the region, Scott said.

“That’s our water,” Scott told reporters today while standing next to the Apalachicola Bay. “They’ve impacted our families. They’ve impacted the livelihood of people down here.”

At a hearing today in Apalachicola, U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat, and U.S Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, both blamed Georgia for taking more than its fair share of water. Georgia’s consumption, along with a drought last year, has devastated the oyster industry in Northwest Florida, the Senators said.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a fishery disaster declaration on Monday over oysters.

“The changes to water flow have decimated a once booming industry, but I’m hopeful we can soon start to turn things around,” Nelson said in a statement yesterday.


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