Georgia secured another victory in the ongoing “water wars,” this time against the state of Alabama and Alabama Power. Unlike the 2021 U.S. Supreme Court ruling against Florida in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin, this most recent case centers on the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa (ACT Basin) and Lake Allatoona.
Alabama plaintiffs contended that the Corps, by holding excessive water in Allatoona, caused decreased flows leading to water quality issues, water insecurity during droughts, and lower hydropower generation downstream. In a 299-page decision, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan rejected claims that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages Lake Allatoona, violated the federal Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. Judge Sullivan found that the Corps thoroughly studied the environmental impact of its new plan and can adjust river operations accordingly.
The AJC article noted positive responses from Governor Brian Kemp’s office, as well as the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Katherine Zitsch, while emphasizing that the ‘water wars’ are far from over.
For more context on the Tri-State Water Wars, visit this page from the Atlanta Regional Commission.