People Say “No” to SWFWMD
People are telling the water management districts that they don’t want huge permits given out which may cause water scarcity.
The Florida leadership mindset is that our water supply is unlimited, and that their duty and mission is to dispense the water freely to all who ask.
Slowly it is beginning to sink in that perhaps, after all, there may be and end to the supply.
Beginning, also, are the conflicts leading to our future water wars.
Read the article in the Ledger.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-
Water permit delayed after Polk files petition challenging it
BARTOW — A vote to approve a 50-year permit that would more than double the amount of water the Manasota regional water authority can withdraw has been delayed.
Officials with the Southwest Water Management District said the May 22 vote by the governing board was suspended after the Polk Regional Water Cooperative and the cities of Lakeland and Winter Haven filed a petition challenging the permit.
The regional water authority owned by Manatee, Charlotte, DeSoto and Sarasota counties wants to increase the amount of water it withdraws from 120 million gallons to 258 million gallons per day. Polk officials fear the permit increase, and its requested 50-year term, would make it harder for Polk County municipalities to take from the same source in the future.
Polk officials have said they weren’t aware of the permit until it came up during a Southwest Florida Management District meeting in late February when Manasota officials made a presentation about building a reservoir. Swiftmud received the permit application Oct. 2.
Swiftmud spokeswoman Susanna Martinez Tarokh said Tuesday that Swiftmud will review the petitions by the cooperative and the cities to determine whether they are legally sufficient. Once that is determined, Swiftmud would refer the petition to the Division of Administrative Hearings.
Gene Heath, a coordinator for the Polk Regional Water Cooperative, said it may not come to that.
Manasota officials will either attempt to reach an agreement with Polk or the case will be heard by a hearing officer, who will make a final decision after hearing evidence from both sides, Heath said.
That decision could be appealed, he said.
Heath said he plans to talk with the PRWC board at 2 p.m. Wednesday about the petition during a board meeting at Lake Myrtle Sports Complex in Auburndale.
Patrick Lehman, executive director of the Manasota water cooperative, did not return a phone message.
John Chambliss can be reached at [email protected] o