November 20, 2017

Deal: State files lawsuit demanding federal action on water supply

Georgia wants Corps to address longtime requests in Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa River Basin

(Atlanta, GA) — Gov. Nathan Deal Friday announced that the state of Georgia, the Atlanta Regional Commission and Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority filed lawsuits against the Army Corps of Engineers for failure to address long-standing water supply requests in the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa (ACT) River Basin.

“It’s frustrating to find the Corps unwilling to do what it has committed to do in the adjoining Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) basin – namely addressing the issue of additional water supply need at the same time the water control manual is being updated,” Deal said.

“Failing to do so in our present situation is not defensible from either a legal or policy perspective.”

The Corps recently completed a critical step toward a much-needed new water control plan for Allatoona Lake. Unfortunately, this step again demonstrates the Corps’ intention to not address any of the unresolved water supply requests.

This decision comes after a series of requests by state and local leaders over a period of 30-plus years for the Corps to address the need for additional drinking water supply from Allatoona Lake.

“It is regrettable but necessary that we must now ask the court to require the Corps to do its job and make a decision. We need to know how Allatoona Lake will be operated for water supply so we can plan for the future,” said Attorney General Sam Olens.

“That’s all we’re asking the Corps to do — put politics aside, make a decision, and let the chips fall where they may.”

Water in the ACT basin flows from Georgia through Alabama to Mobile Bay. The suits were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

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