The month-long trail which was to end the high stakes water war between the states of Georgia and Florida ended with a special master telling the two neighboring states to negotiate a settlement.
Special Master Ralph Lancaster reminded both states that there is still a lot to lose, be it for the blooming metropolis of Atlanta or the residents of the small town of Apalachicola, Florida. According to Lancaster the two sides should “settle the blasted thing,” and that either way one side is going to be unhappy with the results. Lancaster even hinted that both sides may not like the outcome of the court mandated mediation.
The feud between the two states started when Florida began to accuse the growing metropolis of Atlanta from depriving the fisheries of the town of Apalachicola of much needed river flow. On the other hand Georgia claims that there is not enough evidence to support such claims.
The dispute mainly focuses on the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River which straddles the two states as well as Alabama that has Lake Lanier as its headwaters. Florida has also stating that Georgia has begun to siphon more and more water from the river causing the fresh water flow to dry up.
The drying up of the fresh water supply has begun to harm the environment and wildlife of the surrounding areas. Florida is claiming that the endangered mussels population has shown a drop, as well as killing off tupelo and cypress tress causing the salinity of the Apalachicola bay to rise killing off oysters.
Georgia is contending that it only siphons off a small amount of water from the area and that there is no clear evidence that what they are doing is causing such peril. Georgia is also contending that the effected amount of population is much greater than that of the smaller towns of Florida.
Lancaster has set an aggressive time table for the conclusion of this high profile case and is hopeful that the two sides can come to an agreement after the holiday season ends, as Lancaster has set for mediation to begin again in 2017.
If you or someone you know is in need of a mediator in your legal case the law offices of Edward Lai Law are willing to help. For a consultation in your legal case feel free to contact the offices of Edward Lai Law at 510-397-8287.