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Official sides with Georgia over Florida in water lawsuit

ATLANTA (AP) — A judicial official is siding with Georgia in a decades-long dispute with Florida over water rights, recommending that the U.S. Supreme Court refuse Florida's request to cap Georgia's use.

The court will consider Tuesday's recommendation by Special Master Ralph Lancaster, who was appointed to oversee Florida's suit against Georgia. The justices have the final say in the case, which could affect millions of people and major industries.

The dispute focuses on a watershed in western Georgia, eastern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. The Chattahoochee and Flint rivers flow through Georgia and meet at the Florida border to form the Apalachicola River, which flows into the Apalachicola Bay.

Florida blames Georgia farmers and metro Atlanta for low river flows that are harming fisheries. Georgia argues that Florida didn't prove its claims.