February 5, 2008
Georgia Loses Battle over Water Rights
Georgia, and particularly North Georgia, have been suffering a major drought. If you don't believe me, read about it and see some photos of Lake Lanier here.
The case involves an earlier settlement agreement, approved by a federal district court to settle earlier litigation. Basicallly, over objections of Florida and Alabama, the Army Corp of Engineers had reallocated water storage from hydroelectric power generation to water supply (Atlanta needs the water). The appellate court held that this was a "major" change in terms of the applicable statute, the Water Supply Act ("WSA"), and so needed Congressional approval. There's nothing new in terms of statutory interpretation law in the case - but it's a huge case here in the Southeast.