Wednesday, June 29, 2011
"Thoroughly and Thoughtfully"
These were the words the 11th Circuit Appeals Court used as they directed the Corps of Engineers to make a final determination on the water allocation from Lake Lanier - in one years time - to settle the tri-sate disagreement over Lake Lanier's uses. This ruling was based on an appeal from Georgia on an earlier ruling by US District Court Judge Paul Magnuson that gave Georgia, Alabama and Florida until July 2012 to come to an agreement on how to share the water, or, Atlanta would only be able to withdraw the amount of water that it received in the mid-1970s. The latest 11th Circuit ruling overturned Magnuson's 2009 ruling.
Of course Georgia is pleased with the new decision while both Alabama and Florida are just plain, non-plussed. It wasn't long before Alabama began calling for another appeal and I'm certain Florida will weigh in very soon, too.
But my overall guess is the Corps will surprise everyone with their revised (thorough and thoughtful) operational plan next year. I'm guessing Georgia will end up sharing more water with the other two states than they do now, and that all three states will still need to push water conservation, replacement supplies and efficient water use further than any of them have to date. Just a hunch, mind you...