The Georgia Legislature once again tried to resurrect the idea of re-drawing the state’s northern border to gain access to more water. This time the governor wisely rejected the idea.
The Supreme Court’s recent opinion in Florida v. Georgia shows why we shouldn’t ask the justices to create critical water policy.
We’re still waiting on a decision in the Florida v. Georgia waters wars case and it will finally arrive on Wednesday morning after the Supreme Court added two additional days to issue opinions. Back in January when Florida and Georgia made their arguments to the Court, 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.
“Finally, please settle this blasted thing. I can guarantee at least one of you will be unhappy with my recommendation and, perhaps, both of you. You can’t both be winners. But you […]
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.