Executive director of St. Johns Riverkeeper criticizes Central Florida Water Supply Plan
Riverkeeper: Conservation is the best solution for new sources
The following op-ed piece appeared on Sept. 15th, 2015
Kudos to The Florida Times-Union for the recent editorial advocating for more conservation measures instead of “taking water from the St. Johns River” to meet future water demand.
Unfortunately, our state water management agencies don’t seem to see it that way.
The soon-to-be-adopted Central Florida water supply plan includes projects that would withdraw up to 160 million gallons of water a day from the flow of the St. Johns, while estimating that only 36.8 million gallons per day will come from conservation initiatives.
This is actually less than the 42.3 million gallons per day projected in previous drafts of the plan.
Regrettably, our state agencies have set their sights on risky unsustainable “new” sources of water, while only paying lip service to conservation.
Talk is cheap, but surface water withdrawals from the St. Johns are certainly not.
These projects to siphon the St. Johns would cost nearly $1.8 billion, not to mention the heavy toll they would exact on the health of our river.
On the other hand, conservation can be achieved at a fraction of the cost, while easing pressure on our over-tapped aquifer and avoiding additional harm to the St. Johns.