On Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of Florida in the ongoing water wars rights dispute in a 5-4 decision.
The court’s ruling of a court-appointed special master was “too strict” in trying to resolve the issue of increased water flow to the Apalachicola River to help the struggling oyster industry.
The Special Master found that Florida had sustained harm because of the decreased water flow in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River basin. The special master did not prove that Georgia’s water consumption would provide the relief it sought. This was mainly due to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the agency in charge of federal water projects, not being part of the lawsuit.
Gov. Nathan Deal expressed continued optimism in Georgia’s position in the ongoing water wars case, which the Supreme Court remanded back to the Special Master.
“Though the Court remanded this case back to the Special Master following a five-week trial, during which the ineffectiveness of draconian caps placed on Georgia’s water use as a solution was demonstrated, I remain confident in the state’s legal position,” said Deal. “Georgia heeded the Special Master’s warning and took legislative action, which is now law, to address his concerns. I look forward to continuing to defend our position in this case. Georgia remains committed to the conservation efforts that make us amicable stewards of our water resources and Attorney General Chris Carr and I remain committed to making every effort to defend Georgia’s water resources for our current and future citizens. We look forward to obtaining a positive ruling on the merits in this case.”