WASHINGTON(AP) - Georgia has suffered another setback in its water feud with Alabama and Florida with a judge ruling that the first question he will take up in a major court battle is whether Georgia has any rights to continue using Lake Lanier as Atlanta's main water source.
That question, U.S. District Court Judge Paul A. Magnuson said Tuesday, could render the other legal questions in the case obsolete.
He said an earlier appeals court ruling invalidating some of Georgia's rights to the federal reservoir would "undoubtedly affect" the outcome.
Magnuson made the decision in response to a motion from Florida and Alabama in a years-long court fight over the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin.
Florida and Alabama say Georgia is withholding too much water from Lanier, drying up river flows downstream.