Fresh water is an increasingly valuable commodity, and, therefore, the source of several ongoing conflicts between local and state governments in different parts of the country. "Water Wars: Conflicts Over Shared Waters," a white paper released April 1 by the New York-based Water Policy Institute (WPI), seeks to provide a blueprint for resolving those conflicts.

"Water Wars" examines conflicts like the long-running dispute between Florida, Alabama and Georgia over the use of water from the Chattahoochee River and other tributaries that feed all three states. That conflict intensified as the Southeast experienced several years of drought combined with growth in urban centers like Atlanta. "The water war in the Southeastern U.S. serves as a microcosm of water disputes occurring in the U.S. and throughout the world," WPI founder and Director Kathy Robb said in a statement. "This dispute has been made much worse in recent years by growing demand for the limited amount of water available."

WPI's white paper suggests that the three states hold off on pending litigation while President Barack Obama appoints a federal moderator to facilitate an agreement, and that the states study the use of conservation, reclamation and reuse to improve water use efficiency. Download the PDF of the Water Wars" white paper.

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