Georgia and Florida nearly had a deal to share water in 2013. Then it fell through, and their fight is now in the U.S. Supreme Court.
An aide to Gov. Nathan Deal shared the story about the decades-long fight over water between Florida, Georgia and Alabama on Thursday at the governor’s portrait unveiling.
“This is a funny story that the governor did not want me to tell, but on the way out, I’m going to share it with you,” Deal’s Chief of Staff Chris Riley said, to laughter.
Riley said Deal had a bunch of meetings with the governors of the other two states. And they had nearly reached a deal with Florida. They were down in Florida, at the governor’s mansion with Rick Scott.
“We’re sitting there and the governor of Florida looked, and said to the governor, he says, ‘Nathan, I just can’t accept this deal.’ He said, ‘You know, I’m going to need somebody in a black robe to tell me what to do in terms of a water negotiated deal.’”
Now the states are waiting on nine people in black robes to tell them what to do.
Read More: Resolution In The Water Wars Could Be Far Off
Florida’s case against Georgia in the U.S. Supreme Court has dragged on since September 2013. A year ago, the states had oral arguments in front of the justices, but instead of picking a winner or loser, the Supreme Court asked for more information in the case. A new round of briefs from the states is due later this month.
Deal has said in the past that not resolving the water wars is one of his regrets.