The Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) is a group which was created to foster the growth and development of industry in Florida. They have sponsored a two-day Florida Water Forum in Orlando to address current water related problems facing Florida. The Florida Water Forum brings together Florida’s top technical experts, policymakers and elected leaders. The following is taken from the forum’s website:
Time is of the essence, as our state is facing some significant challenges with some of its largest economic regions having to plan for running out of affordable, sustainable groundwater in the not-too-distant future.
Florida inches closer to water shortages and the associated acrimonious and expensive litigation among water users, challenges to water management district permits, restrictions on new economic development, and in some areas a continued decline in natural resources. The challenges have not grown any less daunting. Southeast Florida must still balance water supply with environmental needs, both heavily dependent on Lake Okeechobee, and face saltwater intrusion concerns. Southwest Florida remains wrapped in a water-use caution area and is also vulnerable to saltwater seeping into the aquifer. Central Florida is still planning for a long-term groundwater shortage, and North Florida continues to see controversy and concern stemming from its abundant springs.
The above could have been written by one of Florida’s many hardworking environmental groups. The forum is sponsored by corporations such as Jacksonville Electric Association, Nestle, Mosaic Company, and the Big Sugar rep Florida Crystals, the last two which have been in Florida’s newspapers lately. Also our old friend from the 2014 Amendment 1, the H20 Colalition is here.
Some of the water leaders include Steve Crisafulli, Herschel Vinyard and Drew Bartlett, as well as industry representatives and water district managers.
These are water users and protectors of water users. Water conservers are not present at this forum. The water users see what is happening, but they continue to use the water, always demanding more. What will they do when it runs out?
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-