Georgia signs contract to pull disputed water from lakeGeorgia has signed an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that for the first ...Georgia signs contract to pull disputed water from lake
Georgia has signed an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that for the first time formally ratifies the rights of two suburban Atlanta counties to use Lake Lanier for drinking water.
The lake northeast of Atlanta, formed by damming the Chattahoochee River, has been used for drinking water for decades. But federal litigation among Georgia, Alabama and Florida over who gets to use water in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river system had questioned that use.
The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear more arguments in that case on Feb. 22. But the agreements signed Wednesday date back to a previous Supreme Court ruling in 2012 that ruled that water supply was an authorized purpose of Lake Lanier. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers changed its rules in 2017 to let the lake be used for drinking water.
The $70-million-plus water storage contract allows Gwinnett and Forsyth counties along with Buford, Gainesville and Cumming to pull drinking water from Lake Lanier as long as the lake exists.