Jul 20, 2009

Judge Rules Against Georgia in Water Dispute

Atlanta must end withdrawals from Lake Lanier within three years

A federal judge has ordered Atlanta to stop withdrawing water from Lake Lanier within three years unless it can get approval from Congress, The Associated Press reported.

Judge Paul A. Magnuson of Federal District Court said the lake was not built for water supply, and Georgia’s withdrawals were illegal. The judge recognized that immediately halting the withdrawals was impossible because the lake is metro Atlanta’s main water supply.

The case involves a 2003 water-sharing agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers. Florida and Alabama objected, claiming the withdrawals were not authorized because the lake was built for hydropower purposes.