ATLANTA - A ruling from a federal appeals court has propelled metro Atlanta from a weak position at the bargaining table into a much stronger one.
This week's ruling tossed aside an order from a lower court that would have severely restricted water withdrawals from Lake Lanier starting in July 2012 unless the governors of Alabama, Florida and Georgia reached a deal. That deadline could have created a crisis for the more than three million people in metro Atlanta who get their water from the reservoir on the Chattahoochee River.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said Wednesday that the decision leaves his state in a better position. But he says a negotiated resolution is still needed.
Alabama and Florida have said that metro Atlanta uses too much water, harming residents and wildlife downstream.