Florida-Georgia Water Trial Coming To A Close
The war over the waters of the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers is likely coming to an end for Florida and Georgia this week.
After a month long trial of testimonies over the waters, the court is likely to reach a critical decision by the end of this week. Georgia is expected to wrap up its case by Friday.
The Supreme Court appointed a “special master” to try and resolve the 27-year-old dispute, according to AJC.com. Florida accuses Georgia of hoarding water that is needed to sustain the Apalachicola Bay oyster industry and ecosystem and “illegally” watering 90,000 acres of farmland.
Florida said that a lack of river water from Georgia is the main reason for the oyster industries decreased annual haul. Oysters need a healthy balance of fresh and salt water to thrive.
Georgia claims Florida would be to blame for the slow death of oysters should the stewardship be turned over. During their case Georgia is expected to bring in ecological and economic experts this week. The experts are expected to show how Metro Atlanta conserves water and would suffer financially if Florida prevails.
In 2012 Georgia placed a moratorium on irrigation wells for the Flint River and underground aquifer below Southern Georgia. The state issued 237 more permits allowing farmers to get water from deeper aquifers as well.
Florida is seeking a consumption cap on Georgia’s water usage and wants a set amount of water flowing over the Georgia-Florida line, especially during droughts.