The three states have been in a long battle to determine water use rights amid dwindling resources and skyrocketing growth. This new ruling allows the states' negotiations to remain secret, but some say the decision is a bad move.
"In an order this week, Federal District Court Judge Paul Magnuson said 'a settlement of such a complicated and inflammatory case such as this can occur only if some negotiations, whether among all parties or among only some of the parties, are conducted privately.'
Magnuson's order applies to all documents exchanged and statements made during the negotiations.
Some observers disagree with the secrecy, including the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, a Georgia water protection organization, and the executive committee of the ACF Stakeholders."