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Judge Sides with Georgia in Water Wars with Florida

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Georgia has won another battle in the water wars with Florida. Special Master Paul Kelly. Kelly recommends that the U.S. Supreme Court dismiss Florida’s six-year long water rights case.

The U.S. Circuit Judge found that Florida has not suffered any harm from Georgia’s water consumption, and that Georgia does not take too much water from its portion of the basin.

Florida claims that lower flows from the Apalachicola River have harmed ecosystems and damaged its oyster industry.

Kelly ruled he did not find Florida proved that harm resulted from Georgia’s water use. Georgia argued that Florida’s oyster-men overharvested the oyster resource in the period leading up to and after the oyster collapse.

The judge stated the Deepwater Horizon oil spill led to a “use it or lose it attitude” in which the state lifted restriction on oyster harvests. Georgia also noted a lack of re-shelling, or reef restoration, on the part of Florida.

Florida is seeking a ruling regarding the waters of the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee and Flint River Basins.

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