Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2007


The political stalemate among the neighboring states of Georgia, Alabama, and Florida over the cooperative management of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) River Basin has been chronicled in numerous articles in the past. This Article will canvas parallel ground in relation to the ACF Basin. In addition, this Article will consider the usual mantra about why the legal deck appears to be stacked against the bottom of the basin where the principal benefits of the water are derived from the ecological systems that are supported by a more natural flow regime. After that, however, the Article will explain how the greatly expanded understanding of ecosystem services that has come about in recent decades can be a counterweight to insular decision-making. The legal vehicle for that transformation is interstate public nuisance and the core principles of state sovereignty that it enables. Neither of two late twentieth century developments, preemption by comprehensive federal water pollution control legislation nor a change in equitable apportionment doctrine, are sufficient to contradict that conclusion.