Stakeholders agree to confidentiality until completion of final ACF plan
In mid-December, the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint Stakeholders (ACFS) met for two days at Lake Blackshear to revisit concerns raised earlier by Georgia stakeholders in response to a U.S. Supreme Court lawsuit filed by Florida. To address these stakeholder concerns, the ACFS Governing Board approved a more restrictive policy concerning the use and sharing of technical information generated by ACFS consultants.
Also in mid-December, ACFS sent a letter to the governors of Georgia, Florida, and Alabama, asking each to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) agreeing to abstain from use of ACFS work products in litigation against one another. Both Alabama and Florida have declined to sign the MOU, while Georgia has yet to respond directly to the ACFS request. Read more about the new restrictions on ACFS technical information and the MOU in the Gainesville Times and Florida Current.
In their lawsuit, Florida has asked the Supreme Court to appoint a special master to determine an equitable apportionment that presumably would address the freshwater needs of oysters in the Apalachicola Bay. Read more about the lawsuit in the Florida Current.
Meanwhile, due to the Corps decision to reduce flows out of Buford Dam last winter followed by record spring and summer rainfall, Lake Lanier is unseasonably full and projected to remain so for several weeks. Read the Gainesville Time’s article on lake levels; see also the Corps forecast.
CRK recognizes the urgency of the Apalachicola Bay oyster crisis as well as Georgia's concerns over data quality control; however, transparency and open negotiations, rather than pro-longed litigation and secrecy, remain the key to a final, equitable water sharing agreement.
CRK also recognizes that metro Atlanta can and should do more to conserve water, as noted in CRK's Filling the Water Gap report (2012), which concludes that we can save nearly 150 million gallons of water per day through a handful of modest conservation measures. To learn what you can do to conserve water, visit us at No Time to Waste.