The ongoing water war between Florida and Georgia is expected to go back before the United States Supreme Court at some point in the 2020-2021 term.
A lawsuit filed by Florida over Georgia's use of water in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin is part of the high court's order list, which was issued Monday, Oct. 5.
There was no specific date given for justices to hear the case, the order lists saying only "The Exceptions to the Second Report of the Special Master are set for oral argument in due course."
This is not the first time Florida's lawsuit has gone before the nation's highest court. Justices heard oral arguments in the lawsuit in January 2018. Later that year, the justices voted 5-4 to assign the case to a federal judge to evaluate the lawsuit; Judge Paul Kelly, Jr. recommended in Dec. 2019 that the justices dismiss Florida's lawsuit. However, the justices decided to take up the case for a second time.
Florida has long held that Georgia uses too much water from the basin, specifically for consumption in the Atlanta area and for irrigation in South Georgia, and that has damaged Florida's oyster industry. Georgia contends Florida has mismanaged oyster harvesting and Georgia's water use has nothing to do with damage to the oyster industry.
Lake Lanier is part of the ACF Basin, so local officials have been concerned about the eventual outcome of Florida's lawsuit and how it might impact North Georgia's use of the water in the lake.