Gov. Sonny Perdue will brief the media and the public this afternoon on the battle over access to the waters of Lake Lanier.
The 3:45 p.m. news conference from his Capitol office will likely follow a conference call between Perdue and the state’s congressional delegation in Washington. A release from the governor’s office said he will also discuss the state budget, but it included no other details.
The state’s entire congressional delegation is expected to gather this afternoon in Washington to discuss how to proceed after a federal judge ruled last week that Georgia has limited rights to use Lake Lanier for its water needs. The judge said that Georgia, Alabama and Florida has three years to find a solution before he turns the figurative spigot off for Georgia.
Perdue and his staff will join the emergency session via conference call, the governor’s spokesman Bert Brantley said Monday evening.
On Friday, U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson issued a ruling in a nearly 20-year-old dispute among the three states that could cut Atlanta’s share of water from the lake – metro Atlanta’s primary water source – to 1970s levels if the states aren’t able to reach a pact within three years.
Magnuson ruled that Congress should ultimately resolve the dispute. But Georgia’s congressional delegation overwhelmingly wants Perdue and the other governors to restart negotiations – in part because taking up the matter in Congress would involve not just three states but all 50. How to get the governors to resume talks is expected to be at the top of the agenda Tuesday.