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Georgia and Tennessee in border war over water

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February 26, 2013


By Joel Williams

Atlanta, Georgia: The Georgia House of Representatives recently adopted a resolution calling for Tennessee to concede one and a half square miles of land along its border with Georgia by a margin of 171-2. At the heart of the issue is Georgia's struggle to meet the water demand imposed by Atlanta's growing population. The extra land would allow Georgia access to the Tennessee River, along with about 30,000 more citizens.[1] Central to Georgia's argument is its own redrawing of the state's boundaries in 1818. Lawmakers purport that the border was agreed as the 35th parallel, but the surveying team sent to mark it incorrectly placed the marker one mile south of the line. Georgia politicians believe the nearly 200 year-old law is on their side, while members of Tennessee's legislature believe that 200 years of de facto law are on their side.[2] Georgia is currently embroiled in water disputes with two other neighboring states, Alabama and Florida, who have filed petitions with the United States Supreme Court to overturn lower court rulings in Georgia's favor.[1]

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