2nd UF Water Institute Symposium Abstract

Submitter's Name Jasmine Betz
Session Name Poster Session: Managing Water and Energy in a Transitioning Environment 2
Category Managing water and energy in a transitioning environment
Poster Number 318
Author(s) Jasmine Betz,  University of Florida
  Hollie Hall,  NSF-IGERT Adaptive Management of Water Resources Fellow /University of Florida
  Riparian Rule in Florida and Georgia’s Waterways: How a dated system is exhibiting signs of stress
  As we enter the twenty-first century, mankind has begun to maximize his demands for potable water. While transboundary water resource management is predicted to become a pressing issue with looming climate change predictions, resolving issues along state, national and international lines continues to be the best method for remediation (1). One source of possible contention is the legal interpretation of riparian rule, which traditionally gives riparian landowners a protected right to withdraw and use water from water bodies adjoining their lands with reasonable riparian use, which includes the stipulation that a riparian landowner may not unreasonably interfere with another riparian's use (2). Water use in Florida is expected to increase by almost 30 percent from 7.5 billion gallons a day in 2000 to approximately 9.1 billion gallons a day in 2020 and Georgia is already experiencing extreme water shortages around the Atlanta area with a metropolitan population explosion (3, 4). Divergence in the interpretation of riparian rule between the states could send water rights negotiations along state lines into a tailspin such as with the decades of litigation surrounding the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint dispute. In the following article, the significant differences between Florida and Georgia’s riparian rule are assessed via analysis of significant court rulings, law reviews and news publications and areas of divergence that warrant remedy to ease future interstate water relations are identified.