*NEWS-PRESS. SUNDAY. OCTOBER 12, 1986
Future of water in doubt
Charlotte County and the Southwest Florida Water Management
District have plenty of water this year, but they're not content to sit
back and enjoy it
A drought and seven months of water restrictions in 1985 taught
them better. They're preparing for the future this year.
District directors included in their budget $1.1 million for conser-
vation programs and equipment The payoff, they hope, will be the
development of new conservation practices for agricultural and
industrial uses as well as improved conservation efforts by everyone.
The district's 14,000 farms use about 46 percent of the water
while industry soaks up another 18 percent Residential use is about
25 percent of the supply, but that will grow as more families settle in
the 16-county district. The need for more efficient agricultural and
industrial uses of water becomes more important every day.
Directors of the district have recognized this trade-off. They
have set aside $250,000 of the $1.1 million for use as matching grant
money. Farmers and industrialist who want to use existing conserva-
tion methods or try new approaches, but need financial aid, can apply
for the funds.
Innovation should be encouraged whenever possible. The more
weapons available to fight water waste the better. Successful new
projects not only will help the district but could be beneficial to the
whole state. Protecting present and future supplies of fresh water is a
critical concern statewide.
Farmers and industrial managers should take advantage of the
matching grant program and submit written requests during the
application period, Oct. 15 to Dec. 15.