Letters to the Editor

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Shipping water south not a good idea

By The Staff

To the editor:

Water within the Dixie, Gilchrist and Levy County areas has been a “Hot Topic” for some time. I believe most of the citizens in this area have concerns about keeping our natural resource, water, in our area.

Currently there is HB 1111 and SB 2424 before our legislators dealing with water supplies. These bills, basically word for word, are 108 pages long, and available on the World Wide Web. Verbiage on page 6, (4) reads: “In establishing the policy outlined in subsection (3), the Legislature realizes that, under certain circumstances, the need to transport water from distant sources maybe necessary for environmental, technical, or economic reasons.”

This statement in my opinion, kicks the door open that could send our natural resources, water, SOUTH. Throughout this legislation, “protectionism” is documented, but the paragraph above seems very detrimental to our cause. (Political)

Our neighbors to the south have planned poorly when it comes to natural resources. They have over built and overpopulated the areas and do not have enough of their own resources (water) to meet their needs. I feel that our area is the last frontier for future growth and development in the State of Florida. If our water resources here are shipped south, there will be a day in the future that our economic growth and development will be hampered. Our agricultural businesses may not have enough water available to grow there crops. Our rivers and streams will be affected. If we don’t plan wisely and protect our interests, we will be no better off than Tampa, Miami, etc.

These Bills jam Regional Water down our throats as a cost effective method to deliver water. I have yet to see where regional waters are more cost effective as a “one shoe fits all.” For example, our neighbors to the north, Big Bend Water Authority, rates are: Residential rates $27 for 3000 gals, 3001 to 6000 gals. $2.63 per and up. Commercial rates are $43.50 for the first 3000 gallons and up from there. Check your local rates and see how they compare. Regional water is very beneficial to areas that have limited resources of good potable water.

This legislation is very critical to cities that would prefer not to go Regional. I can see why some cities or utilities would rather use their “freedom” of choice for their service area or city. These officials are concerned for their citizens, their needs and rates they pay. Why would you want to force your citizens into paying more for water when you have a more than adequate source available? Matter of fact, if you read the legislation, cities that elect not to participate are close to being threatened they will not be seeing grants etc. The “Water Czars” want you to pay taxes, support the government, but are not going to help you.

This letter is my opinion. Read the legislation and make up you own mind and voice yours. I have lived though these issues in another state. Similarities are remarkable.

Robert “Bob” Kerr

Fanning Springs