A U.S. Supreme Court decision on Wednesday in a water fight between Florida and Georgia could have implications for a similar legal battle between Texas and New Mexico over the Rio Grande water supply, legal experts said.
Five years ago, Texas sued New Mexico, asserting that New Mexico is in violation of the Rio Grande Compact, an interstate agreement that has governed water allocations between the two states and Colorado for 80 years. New Mexican farmers pumping the river’s groundwater cause river levels in Texas to drop, depriving Texans of the water they’re obligated to, the state argued.
Over 1,000 miles away along the Florida-Georgia border, the Sunshine State is accusing its neighbor of taking more than its fair share of water from the Apalachiola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin.
In Wednesday’s decision, the high court remanded the case to the court-appointed special master responsible for issuing recommendations to the court. The special master ruled that while Georgia’s overuse of water might have caused ecological and economical harm, Florida’s case should be dismissed for failure to prove a possible resolution to the problem.
But in a 5-4 decision, the court decided Wednesday that Florida only needs to prove harm, lowering the burden […]