Federal regulators plan to divert more water from the Apalachicola - Chattahoochee - Flint River System to the state of Georgia.
The Army Corps of Engineers says Georgia can withdraw 621 million gallons a day, a 216 million gallon increase from current levels. That's a marked change from the 593 million gallon a day withdrawals that regulators previously agreed upon. Meanwhile a separate dispute between Florida and Georgia is still pending before the United States Supreme Court. Apalachicola Riverkeeper Dan Tonsmeire says a court appointed lawyer will have the final say.
“Florida made a good case for the needs of Florida and the impact that the Georgia flows, or lack of flows, are having on us. The special master could very well rule in a way that caps Georgia's water use.”
Florida officials maintain those water levels are responsible for harming the Apalachicola ecosystem. The Supreme Court special master is expected to finalize his recommendations for the states’ water use in early 2017.