Monday, August 17, 2009

Perdue, congressmen craft 'water wars' strategy

Posted By on Mon, Aug 17, 2009 at 10:58 PM

Gov. Sonny Perdue sat down with Georgia's Congressional delegation today to discuss how the state will iron out a water-sharing deal with Alabama and Florida now that a federal judge has ruled metro Atlanta's use of Lake Lanier for drinking water is illegal.

While governors of the three states check their day planners, the Peach State's congressmen will weigh whether they want to make the issue a national one or keep the focus on Lake Lanier.

At an Aug. 14 panel discussion with business leaders and other elected officials, Isakson said his office has discovered more than 45 federal reservoirs might be in the same predicament as Lake Lanier — essentially, they were never intended to be used for drinking water, but somewhere along the way local governments started dipping in straws.

Dave Williams from the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports:

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., said the delegation has yet to decide whether to push a broad bill that would affect federally managed reservoirs across the country or a narrower measure aimed only at Lake Lanier.

“If multiple states are affected, you might take a national scope,” added Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.

The Associated Press says the delegtaion wants to write a bill that will earn support from Alabama and Florida. U.S. Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., tells the news service that congressmen will meet with the those states' delegations in September when everyone returns to Washington, D.C.

Perdue also said he'd meet with environmental advocates in the coming weeks to address their concerns about the ruling.

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