When first the Suwannee River and then the St Johns River managers voted away swiftly and smoothly in just a heartbeat the fate of our springs and aquifer for the next two decades, there was an audible groan from caring hearts in the audience.
The result of four years work by the joint effort of two water districts to approve the North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan came to a culmination today in Alachua when the governing boards met and unanimously voted to approve it. Mr. John Steverson, the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, one step away from Gov. Rick Scott, expressed enthusiastic approval of the plan. Subsequently, the two chairs, Quincy and Miklos, allowed public comment, which was mostly against, but some, such as the big water users, praised the plan.
Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson Karen Chadwick Lisa Rinaman Debbie Segal
We have posted various times on this site about the plan, which is considered flawed by probably all environmental groups. This is a case where there is pressure on the water managers to restore our springs and rivers, and at the same time continue the same modus operandi of giving out huge quantities of groundwater, faced by even more and more users demanding that their water needs be met. An impossible task, as the governing boards have been told repeatedly by the public.
Bob Knight organized the protest SRWMD Executive Director Noah Valenstein
As we return to the real world, we thank all those who came to speak for our water, even though it mattered little, some from far away. We especially thank those who spoke up and told the managers they are not doing their job, that their plan will fail, as most surely it will. Perhaps, among all the back-patting and praising the managers did among themselves, one or two heard the public interest. Perhaps not.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-
Ann Shortelle OSFR Bill Latham Carlos Herd