Florida asks Supreme Court to dump pro-Georgia water ruling

The state of Florida has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a special master’s refusal to cap what it said is Georgia’s insatiable thirst for water. 

In its filing, first reported by Politico, Florida says the high court is its “last remaining, legal remedy to save the Apalachicola Region—one of the nation’s most unique, diverse, and irreplaceable environmental resources— from devastation as a result of the State of Georgia’s ever increasing consumption of the waters on which the Apalachicola ultimately depends for its life.”

It was not an unexpected move on behalf of the Sunshine State, just the latest move in a decades-long fight between the two states. 

Maine attorney Ralph Lancaster, whom the Supreme Court appointed to act as arbiter between the two states, ruled in February that Florida had “failed to show that a consumption cap” was needed after five weeks of hearing testimony in the case.

Florida and Alabama have argued for decades that Georgia has drawn more than its share from the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers, posing a threat to the ecological system and harming the livelihoods of their residents.

Lancaster’s ruling is subject to review by the Supreme Court. A spokeswoman for Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr declined to comment on Florida’s latest effort. 

The dispute over water from the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers is more complex than one state against another state. (Erica A. Hernandez/AJC) (

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