Judge moves water wars case to endangered species

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - A federal judge has tabled any decisions regarding federal water rights to focus on the fate of endangered species in the Appalachola River.

Tuesday's hearing in Jacksonville is the latest development in a long-running battle over water between Georgia, Florida and Alabama. The fighting has escalated since a judge ruled last year that Georgia had little legal right to draw drinking water from Lake Lanier, metro Atlanta's main water source.

Attorneys discussed Tuesday whether endangered mussels and sturgeons stood to be further compromised by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' plan, which calls for minimum water flow from Lake Lanier. Attorneys for the corps argued that the group had worked closely with the Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the threatened animals.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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