US says it won't broker water dispute
ATLANTA - Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said yesterday that the federal government won't try to broker a solution to a bitter three-state battle over water rights, but he urged Georgia, Alabama, and Florida to seek a compromise outside of the courtroom.
"At the end of the day, the three states have got to come together and have got to figure out a way forward with a compact agreement between the three states," Salazar said shortly after taking a helicopter tour of north Georgia's reservoirs with Governor Sonny Perdue.
The approach is in contrast to that of previous Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, who convened meetings between the three states at the height of a severe drought in the region in late 2007.
The governors broke off the negotiations last year after saying they could not resolve the complex battle that began almost 20 years ago. There have been no formal talks since.
And while severe drought conditions have largely subsided across the region, the litigation has not.