S..... .. \ 1 r
OCT 4 ... .A i A -UlN
hlthb 4 I -y 1 1111ih I I'm i l COMPANY, 202 S. Parker St. Tampa, Fla., 33606
James A. Clendinen J. Stewart Bryan
Chairman of the Editorial Board Publisher
Paul lHogan Richard F. Pittman
Managing Editor General Manager
10-A + Monday, Sept. 27, 1976
Parc ic 4 Jea o usy
SlOkes No Thrist
IN ITS 24 MONTHS of existence, salt water intrusion and lowered
the West Coast Regional Water lake levels, have been beaten
Supply Authority has attempted down by those who want no re-
without success to construct a gional supply solution.
water stipply network to serve
the three-county Tampa Bay
population. THE BEST EXAMPLE of the
The political mistrust and pa- failure is seen in the idea the
rochial attitudes that have Authority take over operation of
caused its failure lmake neces- the Cypress Creek wellfield and
sary, we believe, an overhaul of its pipeline, built by St. Petcrs-
the way the Authority is run. burg and Pinellas. Such an
A restructuring of the Au- agreement would be the first
thority to replace 'the p-i-t step toward a "Water for Sale"
'Board of Directors, a five-mem- sign in the Authority's window.
U'er group composed of Cita;nty That agreement is no closer
"Cro-ilmissioners and City Coun. to reality today than it was 24
"cinmen frnmi Pasco,Pincli al'and months ago. The result is that
ltillshorough Counties, with lay, the 1.5-million people who live in
members appointed by th Gov- the region have no assurance of
8rnor should be the first order a dependable, adequate water
5f business of thie next Legisla- flow from their spigots.
ture. We believe an Authority
S. board composed of appointed
WE HIOPED that political laymren would be more insulated"
representation on the Authority, froi;i parochial pressures and-
created by the 1974 Legislature "more attuned to a regionialsolui-
to end the area's water wars by "Tion." The Southwest Florida
bringing the governments in the iWater Management District
three counties into a single works this way in its regulation
agency with a mutual concern, of water consumption over an
would realize that special inter- area five times as big as the
ests of individual counties must Tampa Bay area.
be laid aside for the sake of Without an agreement and
regional benefit, structure to sell water from
That has not happened. To the wellfields owned by a neutral
contrary, the result has been authority there can be no solu-
frustration, backbiting, misin- tion. The politicians in Pasco,
formation, law suits, political Hillsborough and Pinellas Coun-
blackmail which has exacerbat- ties and the elected members of
ed suspicion, go-it-alone atti- the Authority have demonstrated
tudes, cleavage in technical this. As in the past when the
staffs over water regulations, water wars could not be solved
private pipeline development at home, the job of doing that
and internal division within each falls to the Legislature.
of the three counties.
The prevailing attitude .a *
..........." ....lon.re.gu- TilE PEOPLE who depend on
ate us. That is an impossible water deserve cooperative effort,
"position for a three-county re- not parochial jealousy- which
gion that consumes 360 million is all the politicians who were
gallons of water daily for its given the task of regional water
industrial, agricultural and mu- supply have provided them. It .
nicipal use. remains the job of the Legisla-
Those who hi;vr tried to lead, ture to replace a board whose
those w\ho know the realities of members use it to further their
living at the n,'rcy: of annual local political amhbitions with
rlinfiall to recharge the FElori- lhymeln whose only concern is
dam Aquifer and wlio are at- that no one in the three counties
tuned to the constant threat of should thirst.