Judge Gives States More Time to Settle Water Dispute

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ATLANTA (AP) - A federal judge in Birmingham is giving Alabama,
Georgia and Florida more time to settle their dispute about sharing
water from the Chattahoochee River.

U-S District Court Judge Karon Bowdre issued an order yesterday
giving the states until December 20th to work out an agreement to
share water. Her action freezes litigation in the case.

The original deadline to reach an agreement was tomorrow. Last week, the states asked for additional time quote "as a result of the progress being made."

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue will meet with the Governor Bob Riley and Florida Governor Jeb Bush on or before November 30th to negotiate the agreement. The last time all three governors met to
discuss ways to share the Chattahoochee River was in 2003 before
federally mandated negotiations broke down and the lawyers stepped
back in.

Georgia wants more water out of Lake Lanier to meet the growing demands of metro Atlanta residents.

Florida says it needs enough water flowing downstream to protects its oyster industry in Apalachicola Bay and to feed swamps and wetlands connected to the river.

Alabama wants a steady supply of water to meet its industrial needs, including a nuclear power plant near Dothan.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)