In the ongoing water wars between Georgia, Florida, and Alabama, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue is questioning Florida’s motives for conservation, the Fort Mill Times reports.
At the center of the controversy is Florida’s Apalachicola Bay, home to endangered sturgeon and mussel species — but also the heart of Florida’s lucrative oyster and shrimp industry.
By accusing Florida of demanding water to protect its fishing industry and not for environmental reasons, Perdue criticized Florida’s conservation intent. Pointing to his own state’s conservation history he said, “I really wonder how we can be preached at as Georgians over environmentalism and water.”
In the long-running battle over water, Florida and Alabama have often accused Georgia of withholding too much water. Georgia has countered that keeping the state’s Lake Lanier full is vital to its residents and industries. However, rivers downstream in Florida and Alabama have often run dry during periods of extreme drought, threatening hydroelectric plants and other industries in those states.
Georgia has recently brought its case to the federal courts, claiming its water needs trump those of Florida. Perdue also accused Florida of hiding behind the endangered species act.
“Utilizing the endangered species act as a weapon in this battle is somewhat disingenuous. We know what this is about, we know it’s about the bay and the quality of the bay and the oysters and that very powerful, very loud political constituency,” Perdue said.
In response, Florida Governor Charlie Crist told the Fort Mill Times, “Water’s important. It’s in federal court and we ought to let that branch of government deal with it for now.”
Read more here.
Source : Fort Mill Times
Circle of Blue’s east coast correspondent based in New York. He specializes on water conflict and the water-food-energy nexus. He previously worked as a political risk analyst covering equatorial Africa’s energy sector, and sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa. Contact: Cody.Pope@circleofblue.org