Georgia Legislators To Discuss Boundary "Settlement" Allowing Tap To Nickajack Water

Friday, February 8, 2013

Georgia legislators are to discuss on Monday a "settlement" of a long-standing dispute with Tennessee over the border near Chattanooga. It calls for Georgia giving up most of its claim in exchange for a narrow stretch of unoccupied territory along TVA land tying to Nickajack Lake.

Georgia, with dwindling water supplies for the thirsty Atlanta Metro area, has long eyed a tap into the abundant waters of the Tennessee River. 

It calls for dropping all the claim "except for an area described as follows which shall be made a part of the State of Georgia by which Georgia shall be able to exercise its riparian water rights to the Tennessee River at Nickajack.


The measure, which reportedly has the support of Governor Nathan Deal, is to be discussed by the House Rules Committee.

It says:

WHEREAS, when the State of Georgia ceded the Mississippi Territory to the United States,  the northern border of the State of Georgia and the southern border of the State of Tennessee was established at the 35th parallel of north latitude and would have been located on the northernmost bank of the Tennessee River at Nickajack; and

WHEREAS, a flawed survey conducted in 1818 erroneously placed the mark of the 35th parallel approximately one mile south of the actual location of the 35th parallel of north latitude; and 

WHEREAS, since that time, numerous resolutions and enactments by the State of Georgia and the State of Tennessee have recognized that there is a problem with this boundary between the states; but, despite these actions by the governments of the State of Georgia and the State of Tennessee, there has been no resolution to this continuing dispute; and

WHEREAS, it is to the public interest and welfare that the boundary between these states be established and proclaimed; and

WHEREAS, the State of Georgia proposes to the State of Tennessee that the dispute be resolved by the states agreeing that the current boundary between the two states reflecting the flawed 1818 survey be adopted as the legal boundary between the states except for an area described as follows which shall be made a part of the State of Georgia by which Georgia shall be able to exercise its riparian water rights to the Tennessee River at Nickajack:

Beginning at the present intersection of the boundaries of the states of Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee based upon the 1818 survey, which shall be the point of beginning, proceed north-northwesterly from such point along a line extended from the Georgia-Alabama border if such border line was extended north-northwesterly in a straight line to the 35th parallel of north latitude; thence east along the 35th parallel of north latitude for a distance of approximately one and one-half miles; thence south-southeasterly along a line parallel to the line running from the point of beginning to the 35th parallel of north latitude first described herein to the intersection with the present boundary between Tennessee and Georgia based on the 1818 survey; thence west along such boundary to the point of beginning; and

WHEREAS, if such resolution of the boundary dispute is acceptable to the State of Tennessee, the legislatures of both states shall adopt resolutions agreeing to such proposal and shall submit such resolutions to the United States Congress for approval in accordance with law for establishing state boundaries.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA that the members of this body propose to the State of Tennessee a settlement of the boundary dispute between the State of Georgia and the State of Tennessee as provided in this resolution, urge the State of Tennessee to accept this proposed settlement and resolve the boundary dispute for the benefit of the citizens of both states, and authorize the Governor to enter into any necessary negotiations with the State of Tennessee on behalf of the citizens of this state to resolve this dispute.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Clerk of the House of Representatives is authorized and directed to transmit an appropriate copy of this resolution to Governor Nathan Deal and the Governor and legislature of the State of Tennessee.

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