Why Nathan Deal wants to meet with Alabama and Florida over water wars

Credit: Greg Bluestein

Credit: Greg Bluestein

Over at the AJC's premium site, we bring you the news that Gov. Nathan Deal has quietly arranged meetings with his counterparts in Alabama and Florida to discuss the long-running water wars dispute.Whether it's an olive branch remains unknown.

The meetings, disclosed in documents obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution through a records request, come as the legal battle between the states enters a brutal new phase. The Supreme Court in November surprised state leaders by agreeing to hear the last-ditch challenge from Florida, forcing Georgia to dig in for a longer battle.

The new round of litigation has already prompted Deal to beef up the state's legal staff, tap a water czar to coordinate Georgia's efforts and set aside millions of dollars for new legal fees. His willingness to meet with counterparts may reflect a desire to strike a compromise rather than risk a painful court ruling.

The meeting with Bentley, which took place earlier this month, was kept off Deal's public calendar. The pow-wow with Scott has taken more of a twisted path.

See why below: