published Monday, June 25th, 2012

Supreme Court won't consider tri-state water dispute between Georgia, Alabama, Florida

  • photo
    Hyung Seo, of Duluth, enjoys his afternoon fishing near Buford Dam water release facility (background) at Lower Pool Park in Buford on Tuesday, June 28, 2011. That year, a federal appeals court in Atlanta handed Georgia an enormous victory in the tri-state water litigation, overturning rulings by a federal judge that could have had catastrophic consequences for the metro area.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

RAY HENRY, Associated Press

ATLANTA — The U.S. Supreme Court will not intervene in a tri-state water dispute between Alabama, Georgia and Florida that has threatened the metro Atlanta area's water supply.

The decision Monday by the top court means that a ruling by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta still stands. That appeals court ruling was a significant victory for Atlanta and area communities since a lower judge had earlier threatened to severely restrict the region's access to its main water source.

The appeals court overturned those looming restrictions and ruled that Atlanta has a legal claim to water from a disputed reservoir.

Alabama, Florida and communities in southern Georgia have argued that Atlanta uses too much water, harming wildlife, people and industries downstream.

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