Following is another of Tom Swihart’s always-excellent and thoughtful blogs dealing with water problems in Florida, in this case a state water plan, or lack of one.
But before we get to Tom, and in regard to this, we cannot help but comment on what appears to be a great irony–Florida actually does have a state water plan. A great water plan, written with exceptional foresight and wisdom, an amazing document.
The irony is that we disregard it as we watch our precious resources slowing disappearing before our very eyes.Tatiana Borisova and Roy R. Carriker give a detailed synopsis of Florida’s state plan in “Public Policy and Water in Florida” (published by Univ. of FL IFAS Extension).
The Florida Water Resources Act of 1972, essentially the brainchild of Prof. F. E. Maloney and based on his A Model Water Code, became mostly incorporated into Florida law and is engineered to handle just about everything needed to protect Floridians’ unique water resources.
The question is , given that we have a fine and solid state water plan, why is our aquifer consistently falling, and why are our springs drying up, and why are our rivers flowing less?
In other words, why are we not doing what our state laws mandate? This question must be answered by those from the top of the power chain on downward: the legislature, the governor, the DEP, the water managers in the districts.
Maybe Tom will address this unanswered question in a forthcoming blog.
On November 19, 2014 at 08:27PM, Tom at Watery Foundation published the following article:
With the current legislative talk about water, why is there no discussion of the need to develop a real state water plan, as we see in Kansas, Colorado, California and other states? Some of their ideas are quite interesting. One part of the draft Kansas draft plan, for example, focuses on “Reducing our vulnerability to extreme events.” The draft Colorado Plan says the goals are to “..defend Colorado’s compact entitlements, improve the regulatory processes, and explore financial incentives while honoring Colorado’s water values and to ensure that the state’s most valuable resource is protected and available for generations to come.” The new California Water Plan sets out “five things every Californian should know,” including “A Diverse Portfolio Approach is Required.”
Those three state plans all have much more detail, of course, and reflect broad collaborative approaches. No such process is underway in Florida. The discussion of Florida water policy remains ad hoc and fragmented. It doesn’t have to be.