Fake Science That Has Been Manipulated By The District

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BUDDY MCKAY In: Fake Science That Has Been Manipulated By The District | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River

The current plan is fake science that has been manipulated by the district to obtain a desired effect to benefit a few at the expense of the public.

The above quote from this article in the Gainesville Sun June 11, 2017, is now becoming the generic descriptive language which will fit our water districts.  One wonders how much longer these non-leaders can hold their heads up with any shred of eye contact or dignity when faced with comments such as these, or from Dr. Bob Knight, or  young environmentalist Kaithleen Hernandez, and many others.

The sham is exposed, the people see immediately and directly through the ludicrous rationalizations of the management scientists.  Industry must be served all costs, or at least at the cost of one’s job.

Bob Knight has already called out the executive director of the St Johns River Water Management District.  Several newspaper articles have called out the chair of their governing board.   Other district scientists have been accused of intellectual dishonesty.  The voices are mounting and the springs are disappearing.

It seems we in Florida are in need of a leadership overhaul.

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life:  once taken, it cannot be brought back-

Our water supply is in peril

By Buddy McKay and Bruce Kaster

Special to The Sun

Our water supply is being severely depleted as a result of action by the state agency that is charged to protect our water resources. The St. Johns River Water Management District has modified the minimum flows and levels (MFLs) that are intended to protect Florida’s water bodies from significant harm caused by excessive withdrawals of water. They are rules with the power of law.

The water management district recently adopted an outrageous emergency MFL rule for Silver Springs and the Silver River. The MFL rule does not protect the springs or the river. It was intentionally designed to allow increased groundwater withdrawals, just when another major inappropriate water permit is under consideration for Frank Stonach’s Adena Springs/ Sleepy Creek property.

Act NOW!*

Put the Right to Clean Water Amendment on the 2022 ballot


This MFL is contrary to well-established science and inconsistent with the district’s past well-reasoned studies.

The current plan is fake science that has been manipulated by the district to obtain a desired effect to benefit a few at the expense of the public.

You may wonder how this could have happened.

Quite simply, Gov. Rick Scott packed the district board with big business cronies who apparently have no regard for protection of our water resources and then fired district scientists whose reports were not favorable to unrestricted permitting.

Independent scientists, outside the St. Johns district, that reviewed the emergency MFL found it was the worst MFL ever developed by the district, both in terms of protection and in terms of the poor quality of scientific work including the groundwater model used. A consortium of parties including St. Johns Riverkeeper, Florida Defenders of the Environment, the Silver Springs Alliance and one individual party challenged the district’s emergency MFL rule at a hearing in Palatka. They lost out to big-money interests.

The district’s argument on behalf of its MFL rule was brimming with phony technical details. One aspect of the St. Johns district’s position was truly astonishing. Everyone knows that Silver Springs flow and pressure has deteriorated significantly over the last 10 years. Because spring flow and pressure were not a problem for 50 years prior to that, district staff calculated the average flow and pressure for a 60-year period of time to show that there is no problem.

They manipulated the data to justify their desire to keep on issuing excessive permits as usual. The public deserves sound science, not a shell game. Politics has gotten in the way of the St. Johns district using the best science available to protect our county’s water resources.

Silver Springs, Rainbow Springs, our rivers and lakes are imperiled. It doesn’t take a scientist to see the reductions in water flow at Silver Springs and our freshwater lakes.

The governor’s office, St.

Johns district and the city of Ocala have decided to continue to reduce the water flow from Silver Springs without any plan for restoring those flows with stricter permit management, conservation and reuse measures. Florida’s history has proven that making hasty water management decisions, based on political pressure, not sound science, costs us more in the long run.

Our leaders at all levels have let us down. They have jeopardized Florida’s water resources for ourselves, our children and grandchildren. It is time for new and informed leadership.

The campaign for our next governor has begun. Listen to what the candidates say about protecting Florida’s water resources. Then vote as if our future depends on it. Because it does.

— Buddy McKay is former governor of Florida. Bruce Kaster is former chairman of the Ocklawaha Basin board of the the St. Johns River Water Management District.

A canoe explores the Silver River down from the main spring at Silver Springs State Park. [ALAN YOUNGBLOOD/ STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER]

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  1. I’m so a afraid it’s going to take one or two “accidents” before the public and then the water “managers” get wise. I only hope the teaching accidents don’t create irretrievable damage. The water managers know what they’re doing and frankly I don’t know how they live with themselves. The public, meanwhile, seems to find it much easier to live with it’s head in the sand. I totally understand this; I’ve just learned too much to live comfortably that way.

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