Another decision by a judge has come down on the side of Georgia in the continuing Tri-state Water Negotiations. The most recent ruling has upheld the Corps of Engineers’ process for operating dams on the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers through 2050.
Several organizations, including the state of Alabama, sued the Corps four years ago over the Corps’ water management plan to hold water in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin in reservoirs instead of releasing it for production of hydropower and protection of wildlife.
In mid-August, US District Court Judge Thomas Thrash of the Northern District of Georgia, verified that the Corps had acted within its authority to determine how reservoirs should be operated for the next 30 years.
According to a report by the Associated Press, “The decision was not arbitrary or capricious,” Thrash wrote in his decision. “The plaintiffs have not met their burden of showing that this delicate balance should be upset.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the federal template gives metro Atlanta virtually all the water it needs for the next 30 years from the ACF basin.
The decision could be appealed to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Tri-state Water Negotiations have been ongoing for more than 30 years between Georgia, Florida and Alabama. Lake Lanier has been at the forefront of these actins bercause its the northernmost body of water in the ACF basin and provides drinking water for most of metro Atlanta.