SWFWMD Takes Disheartening Action On Rainbow River

 

brooksville bldg In: SWFWMD Takes Disheartening Action On Rainbow River | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

In spite of many requests to the contrary, the water managers today in Brooksville, March 28, 2017, signed off on the new MFLs for the Rainbow River.  The district staff recommended the move and the governing board complied.

Brooksville standing In: SWFWMD Takes Disheartening Action On Rainbow River | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
All those wanting no withdrawals are standing

No surprise, this plays out the same way every time.  There is a meeting and the water scientists spend an hour or so listing to all the reasons why withdrawing some more water won’t cause significant damage.  Other districts, even other states use the same formulae.  The water model is the best available, guaranteed.  The aquifer level is fine, about the same as it was decades ago.  We have had less rainfall is all, and if the river shows signs of significant damage they will take action.  And they will check it yearly and give it a good look in 10 years.

booksville bob In: SWFWMD Takes Disheartening Action On Rainbow River | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Bob Knight give science but they don’t listen

Then dozens of citizens go to the podium and give many reasons why the Rainbow River should not be lowered more.  The reasons are many and they are sound, and they won’t be repeated here, but they are put forth with passion by learned, intelligent people, most of whom know the river many times better than its judges, about to condemn it one step closer to oblivion.

brooksville heather In: SWFWMD Takes Disheartening Action On Rainbow River | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Heather Obara of the Florida Springs Institute

After all the support, a few of the board members make a stab at asking a few intelligent questions, which gives the semblance of sincere interest and concern, but the answers they get hurled back at them from the scientists are the same numbers, assurances, rationalizations and excuses  as they heard over and over a few minutes before.

brooksville whitey In: SWFWMD Takes Disheartening Action On Rainbow River | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Whitey Markle of Sierra Club

 

During this session of comments, one or several board members explain that they are very concerned about water, as that is their business, but they have full confidence in their staff, who are tops in their field,  and who love the river as much or more than the environmentalists and would never recommend anything that would harm the river.  And after all, there were 17 independent peer groups who said it was fine.

brooksville mmj In: SWFWMD Takes Disheartening Action On Rainbow River | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida brooksville mike In: SWFWMD Takes Disheartening Action On Rainbow River | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida brooksville kathern In: SWFWMD Takes Disheartening Action On Rainbow River | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida  brooksville karen In: SWFWMD Takes Disheartening Action On Rainbow River | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Merrillee Malwitz-jipson        Mike Roth                                     Kathryn  Taubert                      Karen Chadwick

So we get a unanimous vote, and the policy makers in Tallahassee are happy and the developers and water users are happy because they can drill their wells and get free water.

And the river and the springs suffer.

There is one question that comes to mind- how many concerned citizens would have to go to the podium, face to face with the board members requesting protection for the river, before the board would hear them?  5oo?  2,000?  What if 5,000 showed up asking to speak?  Lock-down and police?

brooksville mmj cindy In: SWFWMD Takes Disheartening Action On Rainbow River | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Ocala Star Banner reporter with Cindy Noel, OSFR, and Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson, Sierra Club and OSFR

 

brooksville vote In: SWFWMD Takes Disheartening Action On Rainbow River | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
The vote for the MFL

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


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1 Comment

  1. They professed insult and anger at insinuations of them being puppets of the governor, and then went ahead and demonstrated exactly what leads us to such conclusions. Either they weren’t listening to JIm Tatum’s comments about public trust or they didn’t care. How about the public’s insult and anger at their indifference to our observations and desires? These boards should not be governor appointees, they should be elected by the people!

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