Tough Talk Marks the Latest Turn in the War Over Water - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Updated: 10/25 11:50am

Tough Talk Marks the Latest Turn in the War Over Water

The governors of Alabama, Georgia and Florida brought the political war over water to a boiling point Wednesday.

Georgia's governor accused Alabama of using environmental claims to drain his state dry.

Florida governor Charlie Crist fired off a searing letter to President Bush asking him to deny Georgia's request to reduce water flow heading south.

And, as WSFA 12 News reporter Chris Holmes learned, Governor Riley has his own trump card to play.

To show he meant business, Georgia governor Sonny Perdue made his latest appeal to slow water releases at the reservoir closest to the Alabama/Georgia border, and then let loose with a huge accusation.

"Alabama is trying to use these insane rules of the Fish and Wildlife and the Corps of Engineers to dry Georgia up and I'm not going to let it happen," said Perdue.

Georgia has taken the most public stance in fighting to keep water in its large lakes, asking the Army Corps of Engineers to set aside long standing environmental and wildlife management policies because of the crises.

Hours after Perdue's press conference, Florida governor Charlie Crist sent a letter to President Bush, saying Georgia's request has no legal basis, that allowing an upstream state to dictate policy to those downstream cannot be justified, and that Georgia was guilty of making unrealistic demands.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Governor Bob Riley also took issue with Perdue's claim everyone was trying to steal water from Georgia in the name of environmentalism.

"This is about whether we're going to have enough water to run the nuclear plant. This is about whether we're going to have enough water for people in Phenix City," Riley said emphatically.

"This is about people, about Alabama people, and I'm not going to allow any governor from any other state to start beginning to determine what's best for Alabamians," he said.

Governor Riley is also about to take a much more public stance, like Georgia's governor.

He's planning a press conference for Thursday at the Farley nuclear plant and the topic, as he alluded to earlier; will Alabama will have enough water to keep it running?

The governor's office also confirmed Riley will meet with Florida and Georgia's governors and the U.S. Senators from each state next week in Washington. They will try to hammer out some type of water use agreement that has escaped the states for the last 20 years of this dispute.

Reporter: Chris Holmes

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