Supreme Court justices wade into Georgia water wars dispute

Lake Lanier in 2009

Georgia scored a major victory last month in the decades-long legal dispute with Florida when a judicial official rejected strict new water consumption limits that could have hobbled the state’s economy. Now Georgia officials hope the U.S. Supreme Court agrees.

The High Court’s justices will meet on Friday to discuss the recommendation from special master Ralph Lancaster that found Florida had “failed to show that a consumption cap” was needed after five weeks of hearing testimony in the case.

Georgia politicians, agricultural leaders and business boosters celebrated the judicial official’s finding, warning that strict new water limits could have cost the state billions of dollars. But the Supreme Court could dismiss the recommendation, call for more hearings or take another legal route.

The state is also bracing for other challenges. Florida or Alabama could ignite a new legal battle with another court filing. And state leaders are scrambling to shore up glaring weaknesses exposed by the litigation while bracing for a new fight in Congress that could undercut the state’s courtroom success.

 


 

More: Why Georgia’s water wars is far from over

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