US Supreme theses arguments in Florida-Georgia water dispute.2 min read



The state of Florida represented by a lawyer asked the US Supreme Court, on Monday, to order Georgia to use less water irrigating crops in order to restore Florida’s devastated oyster industry.


A lawyer representing the state of Georgia told the justices the costs of a court-ordered cap on water consumption by farmers in Southwest Georgia that would far outweigh the minimal benefits it would provide the Sunshine State’s oyster harvests.

Craig Primis said during hour-long opening arguments, “ A 50% cut in irrigating would cost Georgia hundreds of millions of dollars to only benefit oyster industry of Florida by 1%.”

The tri-state “water-wars” that is happening between Florida, Georgia and Alabama over the issue of water allocation from the Apalachicola- Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin have dragged on for nearly three decades. But the state of Florida’s lawsuit against the state of Georgia heard on Monday, which dates back only to 2013, a year after the collapse of that state’s oyster industry in Apalachicola Bay.

The state of Florida is seeking to cap Georgia’s water consumption to save an oyster industry of Florida that will otherwise be “irretrievably lost”, Gregory Garre, the state of Florida’s lawyer told these statements to the justices.

Georgia, later on, has countered that such a cap would bring growth in metro Atlanta grinding to a halt and devastate the state’s Southwest Georgia Farm Belt.

Florida blames the collapse of its oyster industry on the historic low flow of water through the ACF system which at its border with the state of Georgia, which ultimately has increased the levels of salinity in the Apalachicola Bay to various harmful levels for its once-thriving oyster industry.

Gregory Garre said, “ One of the most unique estuaries in the Northern Hemisphere……essentially became a marine environment because of the increased salinity.”

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