Kyle Wingfield, president and CEO of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, released this statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 9-0 decision today to dismiss Florida’s lawsuit in its 8-year-old “water wars” dispute with Georgia:
The U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling validates the December 2019 recommendation by the Special Master, New Mexico federal Judge Paul Kelly, to dismiss the case, and it vindicates Georgia, which Florida had accused of unfair use of the water in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin.
As we have said previously, the cap on Georgia’s usage that Florida sought – through 2050 – had less to do with saving Florida’s oysters and more to do with harming our state’s economy. The court concurred: “Considering the record as a whole, Florida has not shown that it is ‘highly probable’ that Georgia’s alleged overconsumption played more than a trivial role in the collapse of Florida’s oyster fisheries,” the opinion noted.
Throughout this costly, lengthy dispute, Georgians have exercised responsible stewardship of this resource. As the state’s population continues to grow, especially in the metro area, this court victory is a somber reminder: Water is an increasingly precious resource that our neighbors believe is worth fighting over. Policymakers must continue to demonstrate leadership that preserves and protects this victory and ensures best practices for Georgia’s future success.
To interview Kyle Wingfield, email or call 404-256-4050.