Tag: Water Wars

Is the Supreme Court Capable of Valuing the Environment?

The Supreme Court will make a decision in the Water Wars case between Georgia and Florida as early as March 27. When the two states made their arguments in January, several justices appeared sympathetic to Florida. Meanwhile, in a brief on the matter, Atlanta asserted that the Supreme Court shouldn’t even attempt to help Florida because the benefits of the environment are often too vague to be valued.

Will Atlanta Run Out of Water? The US Supreme Court is Set to Decide

A reliable and predictable source of drinking water is a major problem for metro Atlanta. So much so that we’ve engaged in a costly 20-plus year legal battle with states that, on paper, we should get along with swimmingly. And now, like bickering school-aged siblings, we’re pleading to our neutral third-party parents to settle the dispute. And like parents of bickering school-aged siblings, the United States Supreme Court will likely create an inadequate resolution for all parties.

How We Use Water in the Southeast Will Now Be Determined By the US Supreme Court

This is just to name the major legal players. Countless other people are impacted by how water is allocated in the ACF Basin, though they may not have legal standing to bring suit. The waters have extensive recreational and aesthetic value, which serve both economic and emotional purposes. The unpredictable flow of the Chattahoochee River and rise and fall of Lake Lanier hurts the economic interest of adjacent landowners and recreational outfitters. Countless individuals use the waters of the ACF Basin for boating, fishing, and other recreational purposes. These are just the economic uses. An un-quantifiable value lies in the sheer beauty of the area. People buy and rent homes in the area for the aesthetic value. People hike, bird-watch, and camp in the area for the aesthetic value. These incidental users have largely been reduced to the sidelines as state leaders continually fail to reach compromise.