This comprehensive case study of the ""Tri-State Water Wars"" from 1998 to 2003 - centering on the shared waters of Georgia, Florida, and Alabama - presents critical lessons learned about the process of making water allocation decisions across political boundaries. Though the three states failed to reach a settlement in their negotiations to allocate water from the two major south-east river basins - the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee, Flint (ACF) and the Alabama, Coosa, Tallapoosa (ACT) - their case illuminates such issues as water availability, conservation, and the need for alternative allocations that can be applied in contentious situations. Alternative strategies may include dividing sovereignty for maintaining standards of each tributary, allocating benefits rather than water, and ""enlarging the pie"", by including joint development and even nonwater parameters in negotiations. Drawing on successful models of water conflict discussions elsewhere in the country, the authors provide a new conceptual framework for natural resources management. The book's 11 chapters, written by prominent authorities in water resources management, offer a thorough description of the tri-state geophysical setting, policy issues, and stakeholder interests in the ACF-ACT compact negotiations, as well as the long, rich legal history of interstate agreements and the role of the federal government in these agreements. This collection is the result of an 18-month project by the U.S. Geological Survey through the Alabama Water Resources Research Institute, which allowed for cooperative research among co-principal investigators from Florida, Georgia, and Alabama.
Jeffrey L. Jordan is professor of agricultural and applied economics at the University of Georgia, Griffin, and a past president of the Georgia Water Wise Council. Aaron T. Wolf is associate professor of geography at Oregon State University. He is the author of Water in the Middle East: A Geography of Peace, and editor of Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Water Systems.