Atlanta, Georgia-June 26,2012
A federal agency says it has the legal authority to give Georgia more water from a disputed reservoir, though it has not made a final decision on how much to release.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said in documents released Tuesday that it has the legal ability to give metro Atlanta communities access to 705 million gallons of water per day from Lake Lanier on the Chattahoochee River to meet needs through 2030.
That reservoir is the focus of a long-running legal dispute between Alabama, Florida and Georgia.
In 2009, a federal judge ruled that metro Atlanta had little right to Lake Lanier and threatened to significantly curtail water withdrawals.
But the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals tossed aside that decision.