Base:1 on this premise your staff and consulting attorneys would suggest
that SWFWMD assume the responsibility for water production in
accordance with criteria previously mentioned. SWFWMD already
has the staff, expertise, financial resources, and currently is a
viable functioning entity.
The agreement should additionally embrace the following
1. All parties shall agree to the extent of control of a
2. All parties shall agree to turn all systems over to the
Production Authority by a date certain
3. All parties shall agree to an exact Starkey use time phase
4. All parties shall agree to maximum pumping volumes
including peak pumping to satisfy short term needs only
5. All parties shall agree to abide by proposed Pasco Ordinance
6. All parties shall agree to no further wellfields in Pasco
without express approval of Pasco County and the Production
7. All parties shall agree to abandonment of Starkey and all
right-of-way fields within a certain time frame to Pasco
County or the Water Production Authority.
Your representatives continue to explore all avenues of
cooperation and protection for Pasco's citizens both legally and
We do not assume that Pasco should be responsible for circum-
stances not of its own making. Any plan has been and will continue
to be carefully scrutinized in that light.
The ultimate decision may have to be made through a long
process in the Courts and that could be our final recommendation.
If this be the case, it should be noted that Pasco attempted well
and beyond its normal call to work out an equitable solution.
George V. Knoblock
An all day session on August 23 ended with terms of a
proposed agreement that left Pasco County with less than that
proposed by Pinellas-St. Pete at previous sessions. Under the
new plan, the problems of Pinellas-St. Pete and Hillsborough
would be resolved. These terms were subsequently hailed in
the news media as a major breakthrough in spite of the fact that
at 5:45 P.M. the Pasco County Administrator and County Attorney
stated that they were not acceptable that the Board of County
Commissioners in their opinion would not accept them and that
the citizens of Pasco would not accept them.
As stated above, at earlier talks it was conceded that
Pasco was to share in a 3/13 portion of the proposed water
production. At one discussion it was pointed out by the District
that the Starkey property was reserved to West Pasco's needs.
The highly touted "breakthrough" took away the Pasco 3/13
guarantee from Cypress Creek, severely limited water available
to Pasco for the next 10 years from Starkey lands, provided a
10 million gallon per day share of heretofore undiscussed water
to Hillsborough, allowed the potential proliferation of an
unknown quantity of wells along two right-of-ways in Pasco County,
represented no protection to Pasco citizens to the effect that
there would be no further wellfields in Pasco County, and left
Pasco's future to some yet unknown and unformulated water authority.
At this point, it is important to note thatall pumping figures
mentioned: i.e. 67 million gallons per day out of Pasco County
is an annual average and, in fact, shorter period pumping could
well exceed 100 million gallons per day or more.
Pinellas-St. Pete agreed to deed proposed pipelines over to
a water authority that might be formed in the future while at the
same time pushed for a tri-county authority. A tri-county
authority clearly would leave Pasco as a minority dealing with
Pasco County water. Suggestions to include, existing Pinellas-
St. Pete-Hillsborough water systems under a production authority
were rejected as "unworkable".
Pinellas-St. Pete refused a proposal to halt all future
wellfield expansion beyond the August 23 proposed agreement as an
assurance that Pasco would have dominion over what was left after
solving the immediate Pinellas-St. Pete water plight.
Although much more study is needed to analyze Pasco's posture
in the latest August 23 proposed agreement, in my opinion, the
following terms would necessarily have to be agreed upon before any
serious consideration could be given to that proposal.
If a voluntary water authority is formed, it must be formed
before it is too late. From a practical. viewpoint, it must be
recognized that it would take many years to assemble a staff, gain
the expertise and more important attain the financial resources
necessary to adequately perform the functions for which such
authority was designed.
In creating such an authority there are certain criteria that
must be met:
1. All water related needs of the region must be considered.
2. The rights of counties to water derived for inter-county
transfers shall be subordinate to the needs within the counties
3. The cost of water development to the county of origin shall
not be greater, but may be less than would have been the case
had there never been an export from those counties.
4. The structure of the authority must embrace a larger region
than Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties.
Recognizing that such authority is months if not years away,
and that this very complex/is upon us today we must react according.
MEMO TO: Board of County Commissioners
FROM: George V. Knoblock, County Adminstrator
DATE: August 27, 1973
Recent news reports have announced the resolvement of the
Pinellas-St. Pete-Hillsborough water problem by the selection
of a tentative solution, "on an interim basis". This may be
the case from the viewpoint of Pinellas-St. Pete and Hillsborough,
but it certainly is not the case from the viewpoint of Pasco
From the onset of water discussions, Pinellas stated their
position very clearly; that Pinellas County needed water; they
would discuss the matter, and would cooperate with any reasonable
plan. They pointed out, however, that they were coming after
Pasco water and in the final analysis, nothing would deter them
from getting it. "Cooperation" then immediately meant taking
Pasco County citizen's water in a manner acceptable to Pinellas-
St. Pete and their money lenders and, hopefully, in a manner
least painful to their unwilling hosts to the North.
During the several discussions, Pasco made helpful counter
offers. One such offer involved providing water to Pinellas-
St. Pete with Pasco control of the well fields. The offer stipulated
a permanent guaranteed minimal amount of water that would provide
much needed time for Pinellas-St. Pete to take other steps to
further increase their water consumption. All offers were re-
jected as unacceptable citing too much time delay uncertainty
as to Pasco's expertise and an unwillingness to relinquish St.
Pete land holdings purchased for well field operations. Com-
plications were increased due to a binding contractual agreement
recently executed between Pinellas and St. Pete to go into Pasco
County with an 84" pipeline.
Pasco stood firm in all preliminary meetings taking a
position that the citizens have a legal right to their water as
compared to a user who removes it from the land with no return
through natural processes.
At the same time Pasco's negotiator's stated that in the
event it was shown that there was more than enough water for the
use of its own citizens based on an orderly planned growth and
development, then Pasco would be willing to share this excess.
The lack of any figures as to available water crop and pro-
jected ultimate water consumption for Pasco County, placed the
Pasco negotiators in a difficult position as to agreeing how much
water could be given up today to Pinellas-St. Pete. Figures were
demanded and Pasco in an effort to retain control over its water-
lands decided upon a figure that supplied the immediate projected
needs of Pinellas-St. Pete. This was not enough and the proposal
The problem was further complicated by demands of the
Southwest Florida Water Management District that Pinellas-St.
Pete cut back pumping at their wellfields to the South in order
to protect the lake levels in Hillsborough County and property
owners in Pinellas County. Hilsborough threatened suit against
St. Pete to force a lowered pumping volume from wells in
Hillsborough owned by St. Pete. All this forced an increased
demand on volume of water from Pasco.
Pasco considered promises of a guaranteed share of the water
production from the proposed Pinellas-St. Pete Cypress Creek
Wellfield. Considered also were guaranteed shares of the water
through the 84" pipeline (all if we pay our "fair share"). All of
these offers would have left Pasco with a minority voice as to
its water production and with little to say in the future protection
of Pasco land owners.