By Kristi E. Swartz
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said it’s up to the governors of Georgia, Florida and Alabama to hash out the nearly 20-year long battle over who controls the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River.
“I do not see us as coming in and hammering heads and getting the deal done,” Salazar said at a news conference with Gov. Sonny Perdue on Wednesday after a helicopter tour of Lake Lanier.
Salazar is spending the day in Georgia to review the state’s water issues. Until recently, the state suffered from a record-setting three-year drought, which only heated up a 19-year water war between the three states.
That issue is now before the courts.
While Salazar said he considered water and the Southeast one of his “cardinal issues,” he was adamant about not stepping in and forcing a solution on how the three states should manage their water.
Perdue told reporters he thinks all three states would “be better served” with an allocation plan based on science.
After a morning news conference, Salazar headed to the Martin Luther King Jr. historical site. He will spend Thursday in Florida and said he will discuss the tri-state water issue with Gov. Charlie Crist.