North and South Carolina have reached a settlement in their dispute over Catawba River water, heading off what could have been a years-long showdown in the U.S. Supreme Court.
South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster worried North Carolina would siphon off too much water, and leave his state dry, so to speak. So back in 2007, he sued North Carolina saying that the state's use of the Catawba could endanger South Carolina. The two states have now reached a preliminary agreement that gives South Carolina more say-so in its northern neighbor's water decisions.
The settlement is based on a pact signed by a stakeholder group from both states in 2006. Under the agreement, the two states agree to work together to devise a policy to handle water transfers between basins. They also agree to coordinate their efforts to update the river's water supply study every 10 years and implement drought response plans when required.
The attorneys general's offices will come up with a final agreement in the next few weeks.