The purpose of this workshop is to allow citizens to comment on rapidly developing proposals to shift the regional public water supply in Central Florida from groundwater toward a greater reliance on other sources of water. We need your voices to object to proposals that will tap water from our treasured rivers and lakes of Central Florida.
The St. Johns, Southwest Florida, and South Florida Water Management Districts, as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection now officially recognize that groundwater in Central Florida’s subsurface aquifers is running out. The Central Florida Water Initiative is a collaboration between these entities to plan for the region’s water future. Water demand is going to increase to 1.1 Billion gallons per day by 2035 – yet the aquifer will sustain only 850 million gallons per day (mgd) in pumping for water supply use. There is only about 50 mgd available before that cap is reached.
The draft plan includes a set of “surface water” projects that propose to suck about 250 mgd from our rivers and lakes– including over 150 mgd from the St. John’s River and up to 25 mgd from the Kissimmee River basin, costing in the ballpark of $1.8 to $2 billion! It may also impact Lake Apopka, the Ocklawaha River, Withlacoochee River, Peace River and the Clermont and Upper Kissimmee Chains of Lakes. To see the new plan that presents these threats to our rivers and lakes, click here.
Tell the water planners “NO!” Tell them that strong programs requiring measurable and mandatory water conservation, and water resource development projects that do not harm our natural resources must be used rather than draining our rivers and lakes dry.
Rivers like the Withlacoochee and Ocklawaha, and the Clermont chain of Lakes already suffer from dry-outs. Some portions even go completely dry today without additional water withdrawals. The Kissimmee river – restored at a cost to taxpayers of approximately $1 billion- is going to need sufficient water to allow the natural river to flow.
Public comments can also be provided at the Central Florida Water Initiative Steering Committee meeting on December 13, 2013 at 9:30 a.m at TOHO Water Authority, 951 Martin Luther King Blvd., Kissimmee, FL. Comments can be provided writing by January 10, 2014 to Tom Bartol at the St. Johns River Water Management District, 4049 Reid Street, Palatka, FL 32177, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.