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Lecture series focuses on tri-state water wars
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Lecture series
When: 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11, March 18 and April 29
Where: Georgia State University, off Interstate 75/85 Southbound Exit 249A, Atlanta
How much: Free
More info: 404-413-5750

Georgia’s water wars will be the subject of an upcoming lecture series at Georgia State University in Atlanta.

The university’s department of geosciences plans to present speakers who have different perspectives on the ongoing dispute between Georgia, Alabama and Florida over water resources in Lake Lanier.

The series is free and open to the public.

Scheduled speakers include:

  • James Bross, professor of law at Georgia State, who is an expert on water law and the history of the dispute, on Thursday.

  • Neill Herring, a lobbyist with the Georgia chapter of the Sierra Club, who will speak about water conservation in Atlanta, on Feb. 11.

  • Frank Stephens, program analyst for Gwinnett County’s Department of Water Resources, on March 18.

  • David Feldman, professor in the Department of Planning, Policy and Design at the University of California-Irvine, who will compare the water dispute with the Los Angeles water grabs of the early 20th century, on April 29.

Bross and Feldman will speak in Room 718 of the General Classroom Building. Herring and Stephens will speak in Room 316 of Kell Hall.

All the lectures will take place at 4 p.m.

“We are intentionally presenting speakers with opposing points of view who will provoke discussion in the audience, and who have different perspectives on the way water is being managed,” said Jordan Clayton, assistant professor of geosciences.

He organized the series with Katherine Hankins, assistant professor of geosciences.

“It’s important to understand what the judge’s ruling is, its impact for Georgia and the roles of Alabama and Florida in the dispute,” Clayton said.

The water dispute came to a head in July, when U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson ruled that Georgia has little legal right to 38,000-acre Lake Lanier, which supplies water to Gainesville, Hall County and most of metro Atlanta.

The judge gave Georgia, Alabama and Florida three years to reach an accord. If not, access to Lake Lanier water for the cities and counties that use it could be reduced to mid-1970s levels.

Georgia picked up some leverage in the dispute Wednesday when the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the state’s attorneys could challenge Magnuson’s decision.

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