Federal Judge to Hear Arguments in Long-Running ‘Water War’ (Florida v Georgia)

The Supreme Court overruled the previous Special Master (who is now deceased) and revived Florida’s case in the 2018 term.

The current Special Master, Senior United States Circuit Judge Paul J. Kelly Jr. of the 10th Circuit, is holding oral arguments in his Albuquerque, New Mexico courtroom.

I expect that the Special Master will complete his report and submit it to the Supreme Court in time for it to be heard in the October 2019 term.

For Florida in particular, this is very important to their fishing industry on the Gulf Coast along the Panhandle and Great Bend.

I think this case should be resolved in Florida’s favor.

Tried to read the link but requires a subscription.

Probably not the water-rights arena I thought it was going to be though. Living in the west, states are getting antsy with each other about potable water availability, and the legalities that govern those water rights are often from the 1800s and are inadequate for populations that have multiplied by magnitudes and will only continue to grow.

Here is an alternate link.

I do believe the Federal Government is ultimately going to have to revisit many of these water sharing agreements. The Supreme Court can only do so much in its role as “referee.”

And they will get ugly. Colorado River for example. California consistantly uses more water than allocated. Their argument is the upper states are not useing the water. Upper states (like Utah) argue that we are slowly developing the water and using it as our population increases. Take away the water from upper state and give to California and the upper states won’t be able to expand population and business wise.

Thanks, Safiel.

So it is an upstream-downstream battle over an inland water source (rivers), which is also the crux of western water rights. Maybe there are differing impacts between this case and western state cases, but it’s still about fresh water flow.

I do too.

Maybe the overall address to this issue should look to streamline all the departments and agencies that deal with water. Myriad agencies, bureaus, departments, offices, services, administrations, etc., are devoted to their own fiefdoms governing lakes, rivers, aquifers, reservoirs. Then you have EPA, Land Management, Interior, Fish and Wildlife, various commissions for specific basins (Mississippi, Delaware, Gulf, etc.). I’d expect all the maritime and oceanic entities to want their hands in it. There is a National Wild & Scenic Rivers System, as well as an Interagency Wild & Scenic Rivers Coordinating Council. Of course, there are parallel entities at the state level as well. It almost seems like it’s designed to ensure deadlocks on settling water issues. It would be nice to simplify the bureaucracy.

THAT’s the sort of thing I’d like to see “small government” efforts address.

Maybe I’m dreaming on that.