"Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne acknowledged Saturday that White House-brokered water negotiations among Alabama, Florida and Georgia have failed.
Without an agreement, the Army Corps of Engineers and other federal agencies will begin implementing a water-sharing plan of their own, Kempthorne said in a letter to the governors.
"Regrettably, it will necessarily be a solution being directed to the states instead of our much hoped for solution coming from the states," he wrote in the letter, released Saturday."
The Federal Government dictating to the Southern States? Interesting to see this work itself out.
"...The three states have been feuding for nearly two decades over water rights in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint and the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa river basins, which run south through Georgia into Alabama and the Florida panhandle.
Georgia is fighting to hold back more water in federal reservoirs around Atlanta to serve its growing population.
Florida and Alabama argue that Georgia hasn't adequately planned for growth. The extra withdrawals, they argue, would damage the environment and dry up river flows into their states that support smaller municipalities, power plants, commercial fisheries and industrial users like paper mills.
With a record drought creating a critical water shortage last fall, President Bush dispatched Kempthorne to try to settle the dispute.
But the talks appeared doomed from the start, with Florida almost immediately backing away from an initial agreement to allow Georgia to temporarily hold back more water in Lake Lanier outside Atlanta as the governors worked toward a longer-term pact by Feb. 15.
Then Georgia lost a major court ruling in a case that raised questions about whether the federal government can allocate the state more water from the river basins without first getting approval from Congress or the U.S. Supreme Court."
It will be very interesting to see how the Federal Government deals with this issue. New Deal era water & power enforcement and 1960's civil rights law enforcement were hard-fought battles between states' rights and the federal government. Not to mention, the Civil War... Another chapter is about to be written in the history of the America republic in this area.
I can't wait to see how the Presidential candidates dodge having to answer questions on this topic.