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Water Deal Reached on Chattahoochee Conservation Reservoirs

Friday, June 30, 2006  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774

Water Deal Reached on Chattahoochee Conservation Reservoirs

Deal with Alabama, Florida will Satisfy Georgia’s Water Needs

ATLANTA – Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that the state of Georgia has reached a short term agreement with Alabama and Florida on the release of water from Georgia’s conservation reservoirs in the Chattahoochee River Basin.

The deal establishes that the U.S. Corps of Engineers will release water from the reservoirs at a baseline of 5,000 cubic feet per second. It also calls for the creation of an environmental storage pool of less than five percent of the total conservation storage available in the basin reservoirs, to be used for the protection of Florida endangered species. The remaining conservation storage in the reservoirs will be preserved for meeting Georgia’s needs, including water supply and recreational use. This agreement also will allow a greater portion of rains that might come over the next month to be stored in the reservoirs.

“Today we capped Georgia’s exposure and stemmed the tide of excessive water releases from our conservation reservoirs,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “The compromise we have negotiated will give our citizens the water they need by ensuring that new rains go toward refilling our lakes.”

Since Friday, June 23, the state of Georgia has been in legal negotiations with Florida and Alabama to determine the management of water releases from lakes Lanier, West Point, Walter F. George and Seminole on the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River system. The agreement announced today is a resolution of Florida’s Motion for Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”) to Protect Threatened and Endangered Mussels and the resulting order entered by the court to provide a flow of 8,000 cubic feet per second at the state line.

“I want to acknowledge the effort made by Florida and Alabama to negotiate an agreement, under the encouragement of Judge Bowdre,” said Governor Perdue. “This is the first time in 16 years that the states have reached a binding agreement, even for a short period of time, on how to manage the basin. I am committed to exploring with our neighboring states how we build on what has already been accomplished.”

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