Water Spouts will speak volubly and endlessly about all the issues concerning water. The ongoing degradation, and growing scarcity, of the water supply here in the US, and the rest of the world. The continued absence of potable water in so many parts of the world. The work being done by NGOs, and charities, in the third world, to help alleviate the situation. The emphasis on WASH ( Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene ) so health and healthy water are maintained. "Water Spouts" will spout it all out.
That was the message delivered to Gov. Rick Scott this week in a letter signed by 20 former water management district board members from across the state. The letter urged the governor to restore $240 million in funding he stripped from the five water district budgets last year.
The letter writers — including former Suwannee District member David Flagg, of Gainesville — played to Scott's business sense, pointing out, correctly, that investing in Florida's long-term water well-being is not only environmentally wise but economically beneficial as well.
"Protecting and restoring Florida's treasured ecosystems drive our economy," they wrote. "For example, a recent study showed that for every dollar invested in Everglades restoration, approximately four dollars of economic benefits are generated.
The letter points out that Florida is divided into five water districts based on the aquaculture of each region, and therefore water issues are most effectively managed on a regional — not a statewide — basis.
Moreover, they told Scott that as "the possibility of climate change contributes to more weather extremes such as drought and sea-level rise" that threaten our water supply, "it is all the more urgent to invest now in solutions so that the people and new businesses coming to Florida can be assured of a clean water supply."
Water quality and quantity do depend on adequate and well-maintained watersheds. Water districts not only monitor water supply, but manage flooding, pollution and "treasured ecosystems." And to do these effectively, they need adequate funding.
But it is on our future water supply that the letter's authors are most focused.
"As our limited resources are strained by a growing population in the coming years, adequately funding water supply development through water storage projects, alternative water supplies, greater conservation and reclaimed water projects is vital for a sustainable future," they wrote.
Florida taxpayers need to know that failing to adequately undertake water solutions for the future will cost them far more later.
"We think the average Floridian would rather pay a little more for water management solutions today than have to pay for much more expensive projects later," the letter argued.