Georgia’s Solution to Drought…Annex Part of Tennessee

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
(map: AP)

Georgia’s thirst for water amid a terrible drought has lawmakers looking to neighboring Tennessee for answers.


The solution, Georgian state senators say, involves getting control of a stretch of the Tennessee River. In a resolution adopted by the legislature’s upper chamber, the state wishes to relocate the border between the two states by about a mile, which would place the section of the river in Georgia’s hands for siphoning purposes.


The Georgia senators claim the border was wrongly set up, based on a flawed survey conducted in 1818 that placed the 35th parallel, the border between the two states, one mile south of its actual location. Fixing the snafu, they maintain, would only put things as they should have been all along.


The resolution offers Tennessee 66.5 miles of land that legally belongs to Georgia in exchange for the return of the 1.5-mile waterway. It calls on Tennessee to accept the new border, or else—meaning Georgia’s attorney general will sue if need be.


Georgia’s efforts to reclaim the land it believes it owns date back to 1880. There have been nine previous resolutions calling for Tennessee to comply with its request, the most recent being in 2008.


Legislators in Tennessee successfully fought off those earlier demands. They reportedly are not inclined to accede to the latest one.

-Noel Brinkerhoff, Danny Biederman


To Learn More:

Why Georgia Is Claiming Control Over a Slice of Tennessee (by Jon Terbush, The Week)

The Great Georgia-Tennessee Border War of 2013 Is Upon Us (by Philip Bump, Atlantic Wire)

Tennessee, Georgia at War Over State Line; Battle Could Go to Supreme Court (by Lindsay Burkholder, Chattanooga Times Free Press)

Georgia Claims a Sliver of the Tennessee River (by Shaila Dewan, New York Times)

Floods and Drought? NOAA Says Get Used to It (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)

Texas Leads States Petitioning to Secede; Georgia and Louisiana Follow (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)  

Every U.S. State Now Hit by Drought Conditions (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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