In a revision issued less than two and a half hours before the meeting was slated to take place, the office of Gov. Rick Scott released an amended daily schedule that includes a 3 p.m. meeting with Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, a defendant in a lawsuit Scott filed last year in the latest episode of Florida’s decades-long “water wars” with neighboring Georgia and Alabama.
The delayed transparency may not be entirely on Scott’s end, however: Deal is reportedly going about a series talks with Scott and Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley in a discreet one-on-one fashion, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The talks come as the three states prepare to entrench for a likely protracted legal battle over fresh-water usage in the region’s Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river system, the subject of conflict dating back to at least 1990, when Alabama first filed suit against Georgia and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — which dammed off the river system when it built the Buford Dam in 1946 in order to allow Atlanta plenty of water to grow on, a decision with zero-sum consequences that has bedeviled its neighbors in the ensuing decades.
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Scott’s suit against the state of Georgia back in November, and it has progressed along preliminary procedural lines since.
Deal will meet with Scott in Tallahassee, at the Governor’s Mansion. Scott spent the morning in Jacksonville meeting with newly minted Duval County Sheriff-elect Mike Williams and highlighting jobs growth in Northeast Florida at an event hosted by Apex Technology.