Georgia-Florida water fight now in hands of special master

PORTLAND, Maine – A monthlong trial in a water dispute between Georgia and Florida is now in the hands of a special master.

Florida blames the booming Atlanta metropolitan area and agriculture in Georgia for causing low river flows that have imperiled fisheries. Georgia contends there’s not enough evidence to support drastic action that could imperil the state’s economy.

Testimony wrapped up Thursday in Portland, Maine.

Special master Ralph Lancaster will make a recommendation in the coming months to the U.S. Supreme Court, which will have the final say in the long-running feud.

The dispute focuses on a watershed in western Georgia, eastern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. The Chattahoochee and Flint rivers flow through Georgia and meet at the Florida border to form the Apalachicola River, which flows into the Apalachicola Bay.