Alabama has passed on the legal fight raging between Florida and Georgia over regional water rights.
The state said in a recent legal filing that it “does not believe that it is a necessary party” in the 2013 lawsuit brought by Florida, which has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to cap Georgia’s water usage and allocate how much water each state could drain from federal reservoirs.How much water Georgia can withdraw from Lake Lanier to meet its growth needs has been the subject of a long legal battle between Alabama, Florida and Georgia. (AJC/Bob Andres)
“The two states that already are parties do not believe that a third needs to take part, and Alabama itself has made the careful decision not to enter this particular fray at this particular time,” said the filing. “It instead is focusing on other [forums] where it believes it can protect its interests.”
The two neighbors have argued for decades that Georgia has drawn more than its share from the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers, posing a threat to the ecological system and harming the livelihoods of downstream residents.