water wars

Jason Tereska / WFSU News

Earlier this month, a U.S. Supreme Court-appointed lawyer ruled against Florida in its decades-long water war with Georgia. As the court prepares to make its final decision, lawmakers are going back to the legislative drawing board. WFSU News went to the coast to see what the ruling means for the struggling Apalachicola Bay and its world famous oysters.

boat on Apalachicola Bay
Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

North Florida Congressman Neal Dunn wants to throw out a federal plan that would reduce freshwater flowing into the struggling Apalachicola Bay. The move comes after a Supreme Court-appointed lawyer ruled against the state in the decades-long water war with Georgia. The Court has not yet made a final ruling. But Dunn and his colleagues are going back to the legislative drawing board to challenge the Army Corps of Engineers.

Boats rest on a dock in the Apalachicola Bay
Jason Tereska / WFSU News

A special master is recommending the U.S. Supreme Court rule against Florida in a decades-long fight over water use. The move is a big blow to the Big Bend’s Apalachicola Bay, which depends on water from the system.

Suwannee River
Lee Reed

After years of debate, state regulators have approved a water sharing plan for the Suwannee and St Johns River basins. But conservationists argue the deal doesn’t do enough to protect Florida’s natural resources.

Boats rest on a dock in the Apalachicola Bay
Jason Tereska / WFSU News

Georgia is wrapping up its case this week in a nearly 30-year-old water fight with Florida and Alabama. The so-called water wars centers on consumption in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River system shared by the states.

Wakulla Springs
Rachel Kramer via Flickr

A sinkhole opened up Friday underneath a fertilizer factory in central Florida, dumping millions of gallons of contaminated water into the Floridan Aquifer. This is the latest in a string of issues that has scientists worried about the health of the state’s primary water source.

David Moynahan / David Moynahan Photography

Last summer, politicians and citizens crowded a U.S. Senate panel hearing in Apalachicola to demand action on dwindling water flows from Georgia to the Apalachicola river basin. But, some river enthusiasts say Florida’s focus on the lack of water from its northern neighbor is narrow and shortsighted.

Apalachicola Bay
Ebyabe

Heads of the agencies that help manage Florida’s water supply told state lawmakers Tuesday it’s time to make smart water-management policies a legislative priority. The state’s water quality and water quantity problems don’t have clear quick fixes.

Water policy is the top concern for state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

"There is now not a single corner of the state that is not impacted by this," he said.

Putnam asked lawmakers on two House committees to keep the long-term picture in mind when making any laws or spending money relating to water this session.