Political Insider

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Why Georgia isn't about to open a new front in the water wars

Georgia's got enough water-related headaches on its plate with the long-running fights against Alabama and Florida still raging. The state's not about to open another water wars front against Tennessee.

That was the message Wednesday from Gov. Nathan Deal in remarks that came after a water policy speech he delivered to dozens of business leaders.

Proposals have been bubbling for years that attempt to grab disputed territory from our northern neighbor that could give the state coveted access to the Tennessee River. The latest, adopted last year, involves a proposal not to sue Tennessee if leaders there give Georgia an uninhabited strip of land that leads to the mighty river.

That proposal was met largely with derision by lawmakers there, leading some legislators in Georgia to warn of a lawsuit if no agreement is reached soon. The Chattanooga Times-Free Press mused that it was a "ticking bomb" that could lead to a larger legal battle.

Consider that bomb defused.

Said Deal:

"I think we are much better off to be able to talk with our friends and neighbors in adjoining states. I think the process still has possibilities of producing favorable results. I don't think we need any more water wars in the courts right now."

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.