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Water Wars may heat up soon

An issue that's been going for decades between Georgia, Alabama and Florida could heat up pretty quickly again as summer winds down.

The level at Lake Lanier is dropping pretty sharply now, and it's likely to continue that trend for the forseeable future. Monday evening, the lake, which supplies drinking water and recreation to residents in the metro Atlanta area, had dropped just under the 1,064-foot level, just over seven feet below full pool.

Meanwhile, the rivers that feed from it -- the Chattahoochee and Apalachicola rivers -- are also seeing decreased flow. In Albany, the Flint River, which meets the Chattahoochee at Lake Seminole to form the Apalachicola, was at 1.42 feet.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials say Lanier's level will continue to drop as they release more stored water from it and others along the two river systems to meet downstream requirements.

If this drought continues to be tenancious, the Water Wars between the three states, which have been fairly quiet lately, no doubt will fire back up.

We hope that with a new set of governors and the U.S. Court of Appeal ruling in July giving Georgia a better bargaining position, that the three chief executives can succeed where their predecessors have failed and iron out an agreement that is fair to all three states -- and to all parts of Georgia, including our region.

This issue has gone on far too long and it would be a mistake to wait until conditions get worse before resolving it.

-- The Albany Herald Editiorial Board