Riley Meets With Interior Secretary Over Water Issues

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Governor Bob Riley met this afternoon with U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne to discuss the ongoing drought and a long-term water war between Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

They withheld most of the details on their talks until a tri-state meeting on the issue next week in Washington.

Riley said the discussion was frank and candid. He said that he is confident that if the three states and federal officials can maintain this level of conversation, they will come up with a solution to the problem.

Kempthorne and other federal officials met earlier in the day with Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue.

Kempthorne said the two governors he met with today are doing their job by looking out for their own citizens but are also looking out for their neighbors in the other states.

He stressed that the states need to reach an agreement and keep the federal courts out of it.

Alabama, Georgia and Florida are mired in a decades-long water fight over federal reservoirs. The drought -- which government forecasters say could soon get worse -- has intensified the jockeying. Riley had called yesterday for a truce.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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