October 13, 1977
FR: TEC V
RE: Public hearing / Corps of Engineers / pur River Basing Water Resources
Management Study ---..
On Tuesday, October 11, 1977, I attended the public hearing conducted
by Colonel Wisdom of the Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, here
in Tampa. The meeting was held in the central jury room in the
Hillsborough County Courthouse and began at 7:00 P.M.
The purpose of the public hearing was to inform the public as to the
status of the Four River Basins Water Resources Management Study and
to permit interested members of the public to contribute to the study
process by the enunciation of differing points of view.
The meeting was well attended. I would estimate approximately 80-100
people were present. Of this number I recognized the following as being
Colonel Wisdom, District Engineer, Jacksonville District
Robert Martinez, Governing Board Member, SWFWMD
Dale Twachtman, City of Tampa Water Director
Joel Koford, Hillsborough County Commissioner
Mr. Canaday, Area Engineer
John Anderson, former Governing Board Member, SWEWMD
Charles Lee, representing the Florida Audobon Society
Robin Lewis, Professor of Biology, Hillsborough Comnunity College
Sonny Vergara, District Employee
J. B. Butler, District Employee
Bob Atchison, District Employee
The presentation delivered by Colonel Wisdom consisted essentially of a
detailed explanation of the material set forth in a Water Resources
Managenmnt Study/Public Information Fact Sheet dated September 1977. This
was circulated at the meeting. A copy is attached for your information.
The hydrologic and engineering evaluation of the Water Resources
Management Study have been completed. Strictly from a hydrologic and
engineering view point, there appear to be four principal alternatives
to supplying water to demand areas through the year 2035. These include
ground water withdrawal through wellfield development, storage of excess
surface water, piping of excess surface flows, injection and retrieval of
excess surface flow into and from the Floridan Aquifer.
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October 13, 1977
Within the framework of these four general types of solutions, 15 separate
specific alternatives have been proposed for consideration and discussion.
A typed copy of Colonel Wisdom's presentation is attached for your
At the conclusion of Colonel Wisdom's presentation, the meeting was
thrown open for comments from the persons in attendance. County Comnissioner
Koford urged the Corps to develop specific plans for utilizing portions of
the Tampa Bypass Canal as a potential source of potable water for eastern
Hillsborough County. He also recpimended that portions of the Bypass Canal
be used to assist in maintaining (through augentation)the level of water in
the Hillsborough River system. Lastly, he indicated that the Board of
County Conmissioners of Hillsborough County are in favor of using the lower
portions of the Bypass Canal for recycling of tertiary treated waste water
from the City of Tampa waste water treatment plant.
Dale Twachtman proposed that the upper portions of the Bypass Canal be
connected to the upper reaches of the Hillsborough River by means of a canal
system across the Harney structure. In this manner nuch of the available
water in the Bypass Canal could be utilized by the City of Tampa. He also
urged that serious consideration be given to the use of lower reaches of the
Bypass Canal for disposition of waste water from the City's waste water
treatment plant. Mr. Twachtman has apparently sent a copy of his presentation
by letter to Chairman McAteer.
Robin Lewis endorsed the positions previously announced by County Conmissioner
Koford. He also urged that fresh water inflows for estuaries be preserved.
Although he did not mention the Suwannee River, it was obvious to all in
attendance that this is what he was talking about. He also requested that
the Corps of Engineers specifically address the following questions .
(1) What happened to Eureka Springs?
(2) How can spring flow be restored?
In his view, Eureka Springs has ceased flowing as a result of the construction
of the Bypass Canal and he would like to do whatever might prove to be
necessary to restore the normal spring flow in that system.
Many of Robin Lewis' conrents were supported by those of Charles Lee. In
Mr. Lee's view there is no such thing as "excess" fresh water in esturine
environments. Mr. Lee stressed that in his view not enough scientific or
objective information is presently available to evaluate proposed diversions
of surface water flows from estuaries. Although he also did not mention
the Suwannee River by name, it is obvious that from an environmental view point
this will be a less than desirable neans of achieving the water supply needs
in this area. Mr. Lee also indicated that ga any final decision or large
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October 13, 1977
scale conmtment of federal funding for water supply projects should be
deferred until two items have been resolved at a state and local level,
namely, completion of the state comprehensive plan, and secondly, a final
state decision on viability of the water crop concept. He did not
elaborate on these views.
John Anderson spoke briefly to indicate that in his view water is a
state resource rather than a local one and that change is not necessarily
The most agitated spokesman was a Mr. Benton R. Murphy, who styled himself
as a "self employed capitalist". The purpose of Mr. Murphy's remarks was
to attack the Cypress Creek portion of the Four River Basins Florida project.
Although his manner of presentation was rather rambling, he did raise the
(1) What is going to be the final disposition of the
Cypress Creek portion of the Four River Basins project?
(2) Why was an Order Of Taking obtained on the
A. Z. Holding property when, in his view, the property
was not needed for immediate purposes?
(3) Why was Judge Burnside's property condemned?
(4) Is the Cypress Creek Wellfield consistent with
the declared water shortage in this area?
(5) Does the State of Florida know that its money is
being used for "water supply" purposes?
(6) Why isn't a building ritoritorium declared in Pinellas
County and in the western portions of Pasco County?
At the conclusion of the meeting Colonel Wisdom disclosed the existence of a
Corps of Engineers' "hot line". This is a toll free number which will be
retained by the Corps of Engineers so long as it is being used. The telephone
number is 1-800-342-5950. There will be somebody on the line to field
questions from 7:45 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. A telephone recording device will be
connected to the line after hours for recorded messages. He urged that this
line be used whenever convenient.
Lastly, pamphlets were distributed at the meeting dealing with the joint
permit application procedures established by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,
Florida Department of Environrmental Regulation, and Florida Department of
Natural Resources for dredge and fill projects. Attached for your information
and future use is a copy of this brochure.