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Supreme Court Rules in Georgia’s Favor in the Battle over Water

On April 1, 2021, the United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of Georgia over Florida in the Water Rights case that began in 2013. The court’s opinion can be found here.

Below is a press release from the Georgia Association of Conservation Districts commenting on the ruling.

Georgia Victorious over Florida in Supreme Court Water Battle   Today, the U.S. Supreme Court handed Georgia a victory in their eight-year Supreme Court battle with Florida over water use in the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers. The Court’s unanimous ruling noted that, “Florida failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the collapse of its oyster fisheries was caused by Georgia’s overconsumption.” The Court also found no “clear and convincing evidence that Georgia overconsumption has harmed river wildlife and plant life by disconnecting tributaries, swamps, and sloughs from the Apalachicola River, thereby drying out important habitats for river species.”
 
Mark Masters, President of the Georgia Association of Conservation Districts, expressed relief that the case had reached a conclusion and noted the importance of Georgia’s water conservation efforts in the eventual outcome. “Georgia presented strong evidence with regard to water conservation efforts in both our municipal and agricultural sectors,” said Masters. “GACD and our member Districts should be proud of the role they’ve played in writing and telling that conservation story.” Looking forward, Mark noted, “Our Association and the Conservation District Supervisors we represent look forward to leading the way in further strengthening our water conservation and stewardship efforts.”