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Florida claims water wars dispute with Georgia unlikely to be settled before trial
Trial scheduled for Oct. 31 in Maine barring a deal
Lake Lanier

Settlement talks appear to be crumbling between Georgia and Florida before an Oct. 31 “water wars” trial between the states.

“It currently appears unlikely that the parties will be able to amicably resolve this decadeslong dispute prior to the commencement of trial,” Florida states in a Friday court filing with the U.S. Supreme Court.

“If these circumstances change in the coming weeks, Florida will inform the court immediately.”

The lack of progress is “despite the efforts of a highly skilled mediator, numerous mediation discussions, and considerable time and effort invested in the mediation process throughout this year,” Florida states.

Georgia says in a Friday brief that Florida indicated “at the last minute” it wouldn’t show for a Sept. 21 session with the mediator.

“Georgia was disappointed by Florida’s absence at the session,” lawyers said. “However, Georgia still attended the session to meet with the mediator and believes it was productive to continue the dialogue if only with the mediator.”

Georgia “continues to believe that mediation is a viable option in this case and remains hopeful that Florida will re-engage with the mediation process,” according to the brief.

In a suit filed with the court, Florida is basically accusing Georgia of overconsumption of water in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin, which includes Lake Lanier, leading to economic troubles for Florida’s oyster industry in the Gulf of Mexico.

Georgia has denied the allegations.

The trial is set to take place at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court building in Portland, Maine.

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