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Tri-state Guvs & Hugs: Part II

December 18, 2009

We have tentative substance and a timeline for an Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) river basin compact that could end the tri-state water war.

After the December 15, 2009 tri-state governor’s meeting, Alabama Governor Bob Riley was “very optimistic” about “a common solution that will benefit every one of these states.”  Riley’s only specifics, as reported in the AJC: “What we are trying to do is have an apportionment of the reservoirs,” which would likely mean a proportional distribution of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin’s water supply among the three states.  It is not clear how this will shake out since Riley only mentioned inflows without any specification.  Negotiators from each state will also discuss conservation measures, according to the Gainesville Times.  Riley was also caught on film stating: “We talked about conservation for everyone” in each state.  Watch here at the 2:00 mark.

In an effort to put a smiling face on a distressing and decades long political stalemate, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue thought “that frankly the time for a resolution is now and really the time for rhetoric is over.”  Florida Governor Charlie Crist wants to “do what is right,” and it would not hurt his Senate race to be a part of the solution.

In case anybody was curious, Sonny got that group hug he was looking for in Montgomery.  Watch the above mentioned video for the side-hug at 0:24.

Now for the triple-guv-squeeze: The governors want their respective legislatures to ratify the tri-state Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint water compact in their 2010 sessions.  Lots of reasons for this: First, all three governors are out of office after 2010 and legacies matter.  Second, if everyone pulls off a quick ratification, the water war stays out of the 2010 election cycle.  Finally, the states gain more time to work with Congress on Lake Lanier’s re-authorization.  Read more about this latest timeline wrinkle at GPB, and in Albany and Columbus editorials.

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