Georgia and Florida filed post-trial briefs in the Florida v. Georgia U.S. Supreme Court litigation on December 15, 2016. The same day, the United States filed a brief at the request of Special Master Ralph Lancaster addressing what impact, if any, additional flows along the Flint River might have with regard to the operations of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the ACF River Basin. The United States declined to take a position on whether the consumption cap arguments by Florida were persuasive and limited its brief to the topic of any prejudice to the Corps utilizing existing and anticipated operations plans. Georgia and Florida supplemented the record on December 29, 2016, with responses to the parties’ previously filed post-trial briefs.
On January 3, 2017, Special Master Lancaster issued Case Management Order No. 22 in which he directed the parties to engage in compromise discussions, with a mediator if possible, by January 24, 2017. In particular, the parties are to exchange good faith offers designed to address the opposing party’s concerns as set forth at trial and in briefing. The parties were to further consider solutions to alleviate the parties’ concerns, including importation of water from outside the ACF River Basin to supplement streamflow during drought periods. A report is to be made to the Special Master by the parties by January 26, 2017, detailing any progress that was made.