Florida River Pumping Plan Is Causing Concerns

<p>Water agency officials in Florida are considering a plan to pump 262 million gallons of water per day from local rivers to satisfy a high population growth rate. But many are calling the plan short-sighted and a futile attempt to control nature.</p>
September 7, 2007, 9am PDT | Nate Berg
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"Utility managers are considering taking up to 262 million gallons daily from the St. Johns and a tributary, the Ocklawaha River, to support a groundwater network not expected to handle population growth beyond 2013."

"The idea has led to much debate over environmental and development issues from Orlando, where the water is most needed, to Jacksonville, where the water's loss could be most noticeable."

"The water management district is projecting a 4.9 percent reduction in flow, which officials say should not have significant impacts on salt levels and sea life. Printed agency research shows the drawdown likely would increase the river's habitat for pink shrimp while shrinking the amount of space for blue crabs."

"While financial issues have become part of the debate, opponents claim the water management district is meddling with Mother Nature and could be sacrificing one of Jacksonville's most precious resources. Agency officials say some of the concerns have been alarmist."

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Published on Wednesday, September 5, 2007 in The Florida Times-Union
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