E-l""v 's~ad :
By JAN GODOWN The demands may
News-Press Bureau and cause a government versus Florida Power and Light Co. billion gallon reservoir and keep it
private business batie. (FPL) is expected to announce plans functioning to cool hot reactors
PUNTA GORDA The placid and The battle and pccential threat to this week for a major power plant which are the center of a nuclear
pure Peace River which empties the river should evolve in the next 10 near Arcadia probably nuclear power plane, an FPL spokesman
its waters here for a trip to the sea to 20 years as pruate sectors and which will pull from the Peace River said.
is faced on at least three fronts with county agencies' eye the river to a yearly average of about 130 million Yet during the river's dry season it
demands for its water. siphon off huge amounts of water for gallons of water per day, usually flows at a rate past Arcadia
much less than what FPL wants to
pull from it.
In the first weeks of March of this "
year, the river flowed an average of
^ '* 100 million gallons per day past Ar-
cadia, according to United States
Geological Survey figures.
The river's usually lowest-flow
month is May.
.Miami based FPL spokesman
( ^- 'Tony Bothwell, who is a member of
< "the company's DeSoto County power
c ^plant project team, confirmed the
company's preliminary plans are to -
take an average of 130 million
gallons a day from the river.
And Genera^ Development Corp.
has an application pending with a
-:: '~ *state agency to draw five m million
C ^ *gallons a day from the river.
w::' GDC will use the water to serve
drinking needs of its Charlotte and
Sarasota county residents. It
\ projects an eventual need of 30
million gallons of water per day from
~-^ the river.
Finally the city-county Regional
SPlanning Council in its Sewer and
^^^^ rWater Comprehensive Plan, '
projects a need of about 30 million
Turn To HEAVY, Page 10B"
Heavy. Demands Face
Pu re And Placid River
Sge I available on what the company will
From Page 1B in Brooksville, north of Tampa, need to take during the high flow
Sf .. Wednesday to learn officially from months.
g lions of water per day from the FPL what it wants to take from the The average September flow is
river, to be used for the needs of river for its plant. 1,938 million gallons per day, i'
residents south of the Peace River. But some water district staff cording to United Sates Geological
The three sectors FPL, GDC and members already have received Survey figures.
the city-county are eyeing the privately a preliminary report from Five per cent of that, which if the
river for an average of about 200 FPL which outlines its DeSoto site amount allowed to be withdrawn by
million gallons of water per day. plans, the News-Press has learned. state standards, is just 96.9 million
If the three groups are granted FPL spokesman Bothwell said a gallons per day.
their requests, they would be taking DeSoto Project team of engineers is That's about 34 million gallons less
from the meandering river more still preparing the details of the than what FPL figures it needs to
than 25 per cent of its average daily request, take over a daily average.
flow, which is 785 million gallons per He said however, FPL knows it The water district can grant ex-
day. will need to take an average of 130 ceptions to the five per cent rule and
Yet new state rules, which make million gallons of water per day, FPL is expected to ask for an excep-
big water users apply for consump- from the river, in order to keep its tion.
tive water use permits, allow only cooling reservoir full. It will be up to the water district to
five per cent Of a river's flow to be He acknowledged that figure could weigh the FPL request against
taken at one time, according to technically drain the river dry if that GDC's and the city-county's and
Chapter 16-J, section 2.11 of the much is taken during the spring low decide what the river can give up to a
rules. flow months. He said FPL intends to thirsty power plant and residential
Because of the approaching draw water from the river during its communities.
"demand for Peace River water and high months, which are in the late It will have to decide how much
because of the limits that will be summer and early fall. can be taken from the river's clear
placed upon those who want to use it, Bothwell said the company will supply before fishing and recreation
one person involved sees a battle take its water, "at the time the flow and the environment are harmed.
brewing. of the river is so high that we would After that decision it will then dole
"Eventually there's going to be a be able to take the water that would out to the three competing sectors
head-on collision between the people serve no their purpose." what each can have, which may be
of Charlotte County and Florida But GDC and the city-county are less than they want.
Power and Light for the water," eyeing the river for other purposes. Bothwell said his company is
derril McAteer said. Because the river flows so low aware of the water use plans downs-
McAteer is the chairman.of the during its spring drought, they too, team that may be affected by his
board of directors of the Southwest would have to tap the water during company's plans.
Florida Water Management Dis- highflow periods. The Ft. Odgen site which both GDC
trict. That agency control s water use September finds the river flowing and the city-county hope to use as a
along the river and must approve at its highest point, figures show. tapping station is just 20 miles
consumptive water use permits for During September and the other downstream from where FPL plans
FPL, GDC and the City-county, high flow months, August and July, to pull water.
before those three can tap the river, the three sectors would be pulling an "We certainly would not make any
"The river can't stand FPL and enormous amount of water, in order proposal which would create a
three or four cities pulling off it," to make up for what they couldn't hazard to the fresh water supply,"
MIcAteer said. pull during lower periods. Bothwell said.
The water district board will meet Bothwell said figures are not yet GDC spokesman Ken Knight said
he does not know if FPL's plans will
affect his firm's water use permit
application which is pending before
the water board.
He pointed out that GDC already
has applied for its permit while FPL
has yet to make an application.
Terry Hixon, of the Punta Gorda-
Sbased City-County Regional Plan-
ning Council said FPL has not
approached him to discuss its plans
for the river and how those plans
might affect the planning council's
He said he does have the answer to
the question of how much water can
be safely taken from the river before
harm is done to the area.