After more than three decades of litigation and millions of dollars in legal fees, the fight over water supplies between Georgia and Florida has now arrived before the Supreme Court. January’s preliminary arguments is the beginning in the continuing story of the nation’s longest water rivalry.
The case known as the “water wars” pits the desire of Georgia to provide water to the megalopolis of Atlanta and the farmers of southeastern Georgia against conservationists and oyster producers in the Florida panhandle. The heart of the debate centers on water rights to the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers. As a means to revitalize the struggling Florida panhandle, the state of Florida has argued that a cap on Georgia’s water consumption is necessary.
Due to Atlanta’s expansion and the massive water demand of Georgia’s agricultural industry, the lack of water reaching the Panhandle has wreaked havoc on Florida’s oyster industry. “The Apalachicola region has suffered serious harm,” said attorney Greg Garre in an interview with the USA Today. “Not only have its oysters been decimated but really a way of life.”
The Supreme Court is not expected to reach a decision or deliver a further action until sometime this spring, but that according to many is hopeful at best. Supreme Court cases can last for years, as UGA Law Professor Peter Appel commented in an interview with WABE. “The litigation has made both collaboration and communication almost impossible for so many years. I could very well see them just kicking the can down the road.”
 Samuel, Molly. Long-running Florida-Georgia Water Fight Goes to Supreme Court Monday. January 5, 2018. Web. https://www.wabe.org/long-running-florida-georgia-water-fight-goes-supreme-court-monday/
 King. Florida, Georgia flush out arguments before Supreme Court in ‘water wars’ case. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/01/08/florida-georgia-flush-out-arguments-before-supreme-court-water-wars-case/1013651001/
 Samuel. Long-running Florida-Georgia Water Fight Goes to Supreme Court Monday. https://www.wabe.org/long-running-florida-georgia-water-fight-goes-supreme-court-monday/
Picture Reference: Flickr, Davis Staedtler