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War Between the States!

[ 62 ] March 26, 2013 |

Who to cheer for in this one…

Georgia senators today passed a resolution calling for the correction of survey areas along the state’s northern border in a 48-2 vote, a news release states.

“The Tennessee Valley Authority has identified the Tennessee River as a likely source of water for North Georgia,” said Sen. David Shafer, R-Duluth, as he presented the resolution. “Yet the state of Tennessee has used mismarked boundary lines to block our access to this important waterway.”

Georgia House Resolution 4 proposes a settlement of the boundary dispute, based on almost 200-year-old survey errors, clarifying Georgia’s access to Tennessee River water. It directs the state’s attorney general to sue to gain control of the entire area south of the 35th parallel if no agreement is reached with Tennessee, the Georgia Senate Press Office release states.

House Resolution 4 now returns to the House for agreement on amendments made by the Senate.



Comments (62)

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  1. ajay says:

    Well, it’s about time. People have been predicting water wars for decades and still there haven’t been any.

  2. Major Kong says:

    Whiskey’s for drinkin’, water’s for fightin’ over.

  3. c u n d gulag says:

    So, which ones will be the Hatfields, and which the McCoys?

  4. Dana Houle says:

    In Georgia this will henceforth be known as The War of Western Agression, in Tennessee the War of Eastern Agression.

  5. oldster says:

    This is exactly the sort of occasion that our Founding Fathers had in view when they wisely wrote into the Constitution an absolute right to keep and bear assault weapons with high-capacity magazines.

    I look forward to the well-regulated militias of Georgia and Tennessee settling this by an Appeal to Heaven.

    • Snarki, child of Loki says:

      No, the TRUE GOP way to resolve this dispute is to prevent the EPA (or anyone else) from regulating pollutants going into the river.

      Soon after, the Free Market® will do its magic, and NEITHER state will want to take drinking water from the Tennessee River. Win-win!

  6. actor212 says:

    The surveyor missed by a mile. Literally. You’d think they’d just say “Oops,” and figure out a compromise, but nooooooooooooooooooooo!

  7. Hogan says:

    Mister, we could use some men like Mason and Dixon again.

  8. DrDick says:

    Shades of the Red River War between Oklahoma and Texas!

  9. cpinva says:

    this is what’s known as “southern time”, 200 years to get around to fixing a survey error.

  10. Tehanu says:

    I have to vote for Tennessee in this one. We drove through it some years back and saw a billboard advertising a fireworks factory with the exhortation, “Don’t get ripped off elsewhere!” The obvious corollary … well, it really ought to be the state motto, especially when you consider who is a “professor” of “law” at the “university” there.

  11. Andrew Burday says:

    I can’t provide details, but Georgia and Florida have had a long-simmering dispute about Georgia withholding too much water from the Apalachicola and other rivers that drain from Georgia through north Florida.

    A quick search shows Alabama is also involved. E.g. see here:

    But no boundary issues on this side of GA, I guess. It’s an interesting issue (access to water), occasional tactical silliness notwithstanding.

    • firefall says:

      obviously FLA and TN need to do a deal and combine against GA

    • chaed says:

      Basically, the oyster farmers in Apalachicola Bay are worried that if GA doesn’t release enough water it’ll screw with the salinity of the water and the oysters will all die.

      Georgia is worried because Atlanta is one of the more randomly placed cities in the country and doesn’t have a lot of water sources for the 7 million people that live there.

  12. Shakezula says:

    I’m cheering for Serious Injuries.

  13. EliHawk says:

    Of course, the entire story is yet another reminder that whenever the legislature’s in session, a great many upstanding Georgia villages find their idiot is missing.

    • firefall says:

      Somehow I really doubt there’s a shortage of them, even then.

    • Halloween Jack says:

      This is true of almost any state legislature, though; you could make a direct comparison with minor league baseball teams a la Bull Durham–a combination of people who are working their way up to the Big Game, aka Congress, and back-benchers who are one fresh-faced challenger away from losing their seat.

  14. Lefty68 says:

    This is almost certainly a negotiating ploy to try to induce Tennessee to support an interbasin transfer. Moving the state line would put a substantial chunk of Chattanooga and its suburbs as well as Copperhill and other populated areas in Georgia, and it would have implications for the Georgia-North Carolina border and probably the Tennessee-Alabama border. It’s not going to happen. The Georgia-Alabama-Florida water dispute is a decades-old clusterfuck, and I have absolutely no idea who to root for.

  15. Linnaeus says:

    Georgia wants Big Government water. Who knew?

  16. Chris says:

    Georgia’s been trying, unsuccessfully, to redraw the borders so that they have some of the Tennessee for about 5 years now. They get shot down every time.

    • Chris says:

      Also, the problem is that Atlanta is trying to get its water on the cheap, screwing over Alabama, Florida, and the rest of Georgia (to go along with Tennessee, if it has its way) in the process. Georgia keeps losing in court, against all three of the other states, because its behavior is blatantly stupid, and eventually Atlanta’s going to have to start forking out the money for water or it’s going to be sued into complete dryness.

      • chaed says:

        Well, people actually live in Atlanta…

        • spencer says:

          Plenty live in Florida too.

        • Halloween Jack says:

          Atlanta is growing because people move there, and people move there because it’s growing–a circular pattern that’s fueled by the basic assumption that it can continue indefinitely, which is now threatened by the lack of a basic utility that almost everyone in the U.S. takes for granted, despite multiple warnings about things like the depletion of the Oglalla aquifer. (See also: Phoenix.)

    • rea says:

      for about 5 220 years now

  17. rea says:

    Well, (1) Georgia is right on the merits of this (meaning, the border really was marked wrong by survyors), and (2) Georgia was allowed to use the water until quite recently, when Tennessee started taking a hard line, (3) Georgia is willing to compromise–Tennessee can keep the people, as long as it shares the water, and (4) this is not some rightwingnut inititative in Georgia (Jason Carter for President!)

    • cpinva says:

      they might have been right, 200 years ago. however, surely the statute of limitations must have long since expired on this?

    • chaed says:

      Also, people actually live in Atlanta. There’s a decent population in Eastern Tennessee… but nowhere close to the giant sprawl that is Atlanta.

      Also, I agree about Jason Carter. He’s my state senator. It’d be nice to see him challenge for the Senate seat in 2014. If the GOP nominates some nutjob like Paul Broun, I think he’d have a shot.

      • spencer says:

        Perhaps, but just because Atlanta has been successful in building Sprawlburbia and attracting people to live in it doesn’t mean eastern Tennessee or anywhere else should have to subsidize them with cheap and easy access to water.

  18. Timb says:

    But, remember, the drought in the Southeast of the last few years (broken last summer?) is NOT indicative of any change in climate. The fact that Georgia, Tennessee, etc finding themselves desiring cheap water is purely an coincidental

  19. steverino says:

    I read an interesting history page on the northern border of Tennessee, which is supposed to be down the 36-30 parallel. Not only does it jump north and south, it visibly wavers at points (magnetic compasses and local variation, not to mention rattlesnakes, contributed to that). Check it out!

  20. Halloween Jack says:

    If you haven’t read Cadillac Desert: read Cadillac Desert.

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