Title: Controversy Surrounds Water Outlook
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00002270/00001
 Material Information
Title: Controversy Surrounds Water Outlook
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: Florida Grower and Rancher
 Subjects
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
 Notes
Abstract: Controversy Surrounds Water Outlook
General Note: Box 10, Folder 12 ( SF Water Rights-Water Crop - 1973, 1976-77 ), Item 34
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00002270
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text








Cont rovcrsy



S orouInds Water



i~nbutlook
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IT YfrTh 7 fl


Seing considerable use in citrus
krdfgaflin is the volume gun. This
a f-pumpelled unit follows a cable
satmtald down a grpve middle,
dragging a big water pply howe.
ltudas appear toe 4ditAe weapa-
tion is less than with ovedead
Uprinkers.
The formula for water is simple
H20. But that appears to be the
only thing simple about water as it
figures in a complexity of prob-
lemsin much of Florida.
Population growth calls for
more water. Salt water intrusion,
meanwhile, becomes more pro-
nounced. There is a competition
for water between urban and agri-


cultural interests. An accusing fin-
ger is pointed at the phosphate
industry. Oratory gets long and
tempers get short.
. Trying to cope with the prob-
lems, the Florida Legislature has
increased the number of water
management districts from two to
five.
"I hope we ian do something to
make water management districts
more manageable," remarked
State Sen. Curtis Peterson, chair-
man of the Senate Agricultural
Committee, as he spoke before the
semi-annual meeting of the Flor-
ida Irrigation society at Clear-
water Beach.
"They are very powerful dis-
tricts," he noted. "With the laws
we havepassed, they have been
given very, very important respon-
sibilities."
Appearing on the same program"
was Garald G. Parker, chief by-
drologist and senior scientist,
Southwest Florida Water Manage-
ment District TSWFWMD), Brooks-:
ville, who pointed out there has
been a deficiency of rainfall in 12
of the past 14 years in a significant
area of Florida. At Tampa, this
deficiency has amounted to 124
inches and at Lakeland, 94.12
Inches.
Excess rainfall was experienced
from 1957 through 491%,,,he said,
"and then somebody pulled the
plug...This is the reason why you,
people who are so concerned with


irrigation have had to go so heav-
ily into irrigation. The rains just
have not been coming to supply
you with the moisture that you
need."
He had no reason to offer for
the rainfall scarcity, but he did
say, "We know there is a belt that
goes completely around the equa-
torial regions of the earth, reach-
ing up into both the north and
south temperate zones, in which
we have had a period of 10 to 12
years of rainfall deficiency." The
shortage is so serious that people
and animals are dying from thirst,
and the Sahara Desert is expand-
ing considerably to the south.
"We are fortunate," Parker said,
"in that we have this tremendously
big, thick Floridan aquifer under-
neath us. If we can just learn to
manage it properly, there is going
to be enough water. Our problem
is we haven't managed it well; in
fact, it has been poorly managed
or even has been mismanaged,
principally because there has been
no understanding of it."
One of the biggest problem
aeas, he said, is salt water en-
croachiment, which poses a threat
almost continuously around Flori-
da's coastline. He noted that most
of the encroachment isit caused
by pumping of water, but instead
by dredging of channels.
Dredede by Developers
"Probably the largest number


FLORIDA QOWCR & RAN4CHER


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Continued from page 9

concentrate say the foreign con-
centrate is blended with Florida
orange juice for re-*xport at com-
petitive global price.
In one editorial, the Sentinel
asked why the Florida Citrus Com-
mission declined to act on the
recommndettion of fts epert
committee that processor be re-
quired to report directly to that
department, thus making import
data public under Florida law.
"To us it is indefensible for pub-
lic officials to decide among
themselves that the public be de-
nied access to pertinent informa-
tion that bears on public policy,"
the Senine editourit*deFares.
The newspaper suggested three
ways to correct this "outrage:" (1)
the Florida Citrus Commission
should reconsider, break its 6-to-6
tie vote, and require processors to
supply import data for its own and
public records, (2) failing that, in-
terested growers should bring suit
in U.S. District Court to challenge
the secrecy of USDA, and (3) the"
Florida, Legislature could end the
controversy by enacting a law re-
quiring that those who import for-
eign juice report the details of
their transactions to the Depart-
ment of Citrus, making the infor-
mation public under existing law.
Meanwhile, the pros and cons
of importing concentrate continue
to be debated. Edward A. Taylor,
Lakeland, executive director of
the Florida Citrus Commission,
points out that imports were
"nil" until the 1962 freeze. In the
13 years since then, Florida has
imported over 26 million gallons.
Al of.this product, or alike quarr-
tityfhas been or will be re-export-
ed under drawback provisions, he
-said.
Most of. Florida's imports come
from Brazil, which has a potential,
for producing more citrus than the
entire U.S. by the year 2000. Much
of this, he said, will be sold in
world markets in competition with
Florida.
"Florida's continued expansionn
of exports is dependent upon an
ability to sell its citrus products in
world markets on the basis of su-
perior quality, continuity of sup-
ply, stable pricing and strong pro-
motional programs. In view of the


world citrus price structure, the
U.S. citrus industry would have
been unable to effectry com-
pete in either Europear inarkets or
other world markets without the
use of iWportedjuice," Taylor ex-
plained.
The use of imports was also
defended by Tom Osborn, Lake-
land, executive vice president of
Floridga :Ctr MmAtdli, who said
there sould be, o concern as
long as there is a 3 to 1 ratio of
export iktpbrts.
"As "g -as you're moving out
more than you're importing, there
is nontoo p~mh to be concerned
about. If hatritii fa~sf and'
falls drastically then it's time to
start worrying. At this point in
tia I 1 a.son to
't fall,"
Osborne stated.
He also took issue with the Sen-
tinel editorial, explaining that they
did not consider the fact' that im-
ports always come in-at the first
part of the year and thee stop. The
ratio should be back to around 3
to 1 at the end of the marketing
season, he said.
James H. Bock, general mana-
ger of WiAter Carden Citrus Pro-
ducts, says imports are necessary
to meet the price competition in
foreign markets, and growers tend
to look at the problem in very


Lrmple terms. "
W"Some growers think if we cut
off imports that they willihave that
export market to themselves, but
they would not. You could not get
one of them to put their fruit on
the world market and take the
return that market gives them," he
said.
Jerry Chicone, Orlando, grower
and president of the Florida Citrus
Showcase in Winter Haven, says
processors do not want to reveal
how much concentrate they are
importing because it is an emo-
tional issue.
"They feel private enterprise is
entitled to certain privileged infor-
mation. But when Florida growers
are spending $8 to $10 million
Sannual.y to promote citrus, then
we do have a right to know, be-
cause the dilution of our product
with outside juices puts a lot of
pressure on our present inven-
tory," he stated.
"The argument that we are im-
Sporting one gallon for every 2V1 or
'3 gallons we export is based on a
three-year period. When you look
at the total picture over a three-
year period, it is true that we are
close to a 1 td 2.5 ratio. But, for
the first six months of this year,
the import to export ratio was one-
to-one, and our imports actually
exceeded our exports for a few
weeks," Chicone stated.


Those who defend the practice pt Importing Ba1lMian ulioe y:.about 2%
glatlort of product are exported from Florida fourvery 4 galln brought into
the stite'from that South American country. Cheaper Imports are needed,
some 'oesm esarsaud,8se that Florida can compele in the. vgxd market.
Growerssay the imports aggravate the oversupply problem and depress
prices.


19
<


AUGUST, 1t75
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Garmd 0. Parker, chief hydrologist
and salor scientists Sthwest
Flofdki Watrianagement District,
coiunisi diccuslon *r making
a p0n00411befoo Ftorida rriga.
tin eaawry.

and the ones doing the greatest
damgeae the ones that develop-
ers have dredged inland from the
Gulf of Mexico so that people can
bring a fishing vessel from the Gulf
right into their dockside, two,
three or maybe six miles in from
the shore."
' Gil Whitten, Jr., Pinellas County
Extension director, said he had
been crusading for years against
cutting canals into coastlines be-
cause of the effect they had on the
aquifer. Wells once used for irri-
gating citrus in the county now are
salty, he said, and the citrus acre-
age has shrunk from 12,000 acres
18 years ago to less than a thou-
sand now. -
Much, of our water is salty
along the coastline," he said, "and
we have 264 miles of coast around
the county;. .So itisa real prob-
lrem in this.area when it comes to
'getting water for irrigation. Some
Sof the cities are beginning to use
some of the effluent from the sew-
age disposal plants..
"PineRas County just installed
and has under operation our north
county sewage unit, which is go-
ing to supply a great deal of irriga-
tion tolnnesbrook, our elite coun-
try club in the county."
The Extension director went on
to say, "Regardless of where you
live in Florida, I think water ulti-
mately is going tobe.t aa pre-
mium. It's going to be a commod-
ity with which we're going to have
to deal; we're going to have.to
buy, we're going to have to sell."
Both Tampa and St. Petersburg
are going to neighboring counties
AUMOS aTS


to get aE r siupptles.
"Gradually we're feeling a pres-
sure,".said Parker, "for people to
g farther and farther afield t get
more and more well f'ie els-
where, or to go up to the big
springs." However, he said, the
big springs in the coastline -area,
'with the exception .of Weeki
Wachee, lie within a gone of salty
water, and owners do not want to
buid desaliniaation plants.
.St. Petersburg owns Week
Wachee, he related, and it's a,
money-making -enterprise, but St.
Petersburgonly owns a small por-
tion of the water that comes out
of the spring. All property owners
Op- the Weeki Wachee River are
riparian owners, he explained, and
under state law, water is toflow by
their properties unimpaired ini
quantity or quality, no matter
what might be done upstream.
S.Parker noted a six-square-mile
circle on a map that indicated a
well field in a neighboring county,
belonging to one of the cities.
"When they pump that six-square-


mile circle at 25 million gallons
'1sr day, which is not a large
amount of water for what these
well fields could produce, they
wfl requke an area which inchdles
34 sqa&wAir n."'He weat on to
say a rate of 40 million ghrlfns a
day would pull water from -,61
square miles of ama.
"If you have an orange grove
sitting right out here," he noted,
"and Tampa puts in that big well
fiAd, they are going to suck the
water right out from underneath
your orange grove."
The hydrologist, as he.neared
the end of his presentation, re-
marked, "These are serious water
s~anagtment pidbletj They
could happen almost anywhere in
the district, anywhere in tiorida.
And they are lappenlng in Florida
in many places where people had
no suspicion of what wad going
on,"
Appearing at a recent citrus-
oriented meeting in Hillsborough
County were John R. Wehle,
SWFWMD hydrogeofogist, and
Tuni to page 24


Water drips from an emitter in a drip Irrigation system being tested in a
program at the Aoit ltural Reama and Ed ation Center, Lake Alfred.
This type of rlfM offers wateres ng potential.
.;,;;: :f : :.: r 1





& >


01- 111
yn
i i-4


Iot many years agp, few people
gave much thou ht to where the
next drop of water would: come
from. Florida is blessed with thou-'
sands of lakes, hundreds of rivers
and streams, and a vast under-
round storehouse of writer. But
the daily influx of new residents,
the growth of agriculture and
other industries that use great
amounts of water, have' caused
the powers-that-be to start trying
to come up with answers about
where we will get our water in the
1980's.
The new concern over water
was first raised in Pinellas County.
Once water-rich, the county has
laid pipelines to surrounding
counties so that it's residents can
take a shower, water their lawn
and 'quench their thirst. This
*eas by Pinelas will be duplicat-
ed&ytheracunties running short
of water. And it has caused one
lawmaker 'to predict that the real
power in Florida will soon be in
the running of the water mahage-
ment districts.
During the 1975 legislative ses-
sion, more than a dozen water
bills were introduced. While no
significant legislation to begin
sovinjg Florida's water problem
got approval, more and more law-
makersare becoming aware there
is a problem.
Rep. William Fulford, D-Orlan-
do, says nobody has a handle on
the water problem. "For example,"
he saAs, "nobody knows how
much water is being taken out of
the ground now." He agrees with
other officials that water and who
controls it is going -to become
more and more important. As a
result, a legislative study group
will soon take an in-depth look at
the whole issue of water quantity
and quality.
Florida's water problems started
0O


when too many people moved to
tod-small an arta stretched q9st
along both coNats. The water
situ~teebecave Iere critical as.a
long-term drought set in. The nor-
mail 55 inches is noi tier nofrl, with 12 of the
last 14 years sitrmk' a below-
averake'tainfall: Lack of rain has
caused thevast bhdeiground aqui-
fer'td shrink ii ie,; tesutting in
many farmers frldind'their wells
'd 'iust.when t14* needed the
water to' irrigate lt eir trops.
WhlIe officials iint to the in-
creasinr poptu~ft ihs -the reason
fotes -water, they also look at the
greiet tounts used by agriculture
and other industries.
Agriculture is the state's biggest
water user. On an average day,
more than 2 billion gallons of
water- are used to irrigate, and
during .dry..periods that amount
dodoes: The impact of water use
for agriculture and industry is
shown in Polk County. With acre
upon acre of citrus groves nhd
mile after mile of huge phosphate
pits. Polk County uses an average
618 million gallons a day, exceed-
ing the total water used by seven
nearby counties .Hillsborough,
Pinelas, Pasco, Manatee, Saraso-
ta, Hardee and De Soto.
This vast amount of water con-
sumption, and the knowledge that
agriculture must have water to sur-
vive is obvious to those conver-
sant with the problem. But solving
the water shortages for city resi-
dents will be easier than for farm-
ers. Water consultant Jacob Varn,
says, "Satisfying the water-supil
demands of people is going to be
tbh epaser part, f thp problem,
becqayswe can start all kinds of
conservation gInjFs, like the
brick in the toilet tank routine, or
recycling water. But we have to
look at the other users too."


Varn works for Pasco Lounty,
and, like other authorities on
water problems, he agrees water is
there, but .he adds, "It's just a
question of going and getting it
and being willing to pay the
price." Tphirr the solution is "pro-
per development and proper water
management."
One of those pushing for getting
'the water to the user isAgiqulture
Commissioner Doyle Cotner. He
says feasibility studies shoQld be
started on the possiility of trans-
,poIting water bi $ 4ditts from
water-rich north"': qJ d'o the
cemtralgId s qCUWp t of the
state. -He points.,out that this was
done in ancient ~arnand is now
being done in California.
He suggeststhat maybe the 17
huge springs in aoth Florida, that
each pump ~osbabout'two acre-
feet of'watei ad4ayj be tapped
into. This theory has been explor-;
ed by others and causes concern
that if the springs were-used, the
underground level wouldd rise,
causing salt water to' litrude fur-
ther. Chief. hydrologistn for the
Southwest Florida Watee Manage-
ment District, Carald aCrker, says,
"We know we cannot. take the
water out of -tur big coastal
Springs, for if we did, we'd have to
start desalination plants right
away. The water is alaeiasalty in
most df these springs Instead he
suggests that scatterweU' fields be
built. He predicts thatthe demand
,for water will exceed the supply in
his district, which includes both
major metropolitan areas and vast
agricultural operatibns, by about
198485. "At that poit, we will
Shave' t begin mining .Wter on a
large scale. in this district," he
says, "ol well 'have to- import
water, 6r we'll have to re-use
water gain and' again, or we'll
have to desalinate it. It can be
done, but it's gi6ng'to be costly."
Florida govelriftlewt has begun
to realize itdoes have a problem if
it wants to keep its residents hap-
py, the tourists coming back, and
agriculture ec6nonially sound
and productive. In the months
ahead, water wil 'demand more
attention Mri Tallattssee and at the
local level. What i will probably
mean in the end will be more
controls on water use, higher costs
and less water.


lRDA GROWIER A RANCHER


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tAMPA. FLORDA 33 0

SFlorida Grower I Ranhirr
Monthly
Winlt Havme


AUG- -7 5


Continued from page 21
Mrs. Hildred Haight, engineer in
the permits department, who ex-,
plhined a upcoming permitting
system in the use of water.
A .grwer will be required to
have a permit if (1) he uses more
than a million gallons of water a
day for irrigation, (2) his usage
averages more than 100,000 gal-
Ions per day for a year, and (3) he
has a well with an inside diameter
of six inches or more. Deadline for
filing applications has been set for
Dec. 31, 1976.
Leon Miller is director of re-
search and production for A. Duda
and Sons of Oviedo, a farming
operation of 18,000 acres of vege-
tables, 15,000 acres of sugar cane,
7,000 acres of citrus, and 80,000
acres for cattle. He spoke before
the Florida Irrigation Society
meeting.
Expressing a dislike for controls
that have developed in agricul-
ture, he said, "We've been told
we're going to have to grow a
tremendous amount of food to
feed the world, and maybe feed
our own population. And if some


people had their way, we'd do it
with less fertilizer, Jess insecticide
and less water." ,
He told the group he had en-
countered an author of some of
the proposed regulations for
water, whose father was a doctor,
his mother, a librarian, and who
"had never seen an orange tree, or
celery plant or corn plant."
He went on to exclaim, "I don't
know how much managing we're
going to be able to do, except
keep out of jail!" Later, he re-
marked, "When it comes to our
handling water, most agricultural
interests are using just as -little
water as they think they can get by
with because it costs them money.
It costs them money to get it, it
costs them money to get rid of it."
Earlier at Florida Citrus Mutual
in LakelandJ r. ames G;rithltZ,
Eonsltant fo te- kTmg-size
grower cooperative, contended
tle land owner has the right to the
water that falls on his land, lies
within his property, or lies under
his land. Dr. Griffiths said both the
Florida Agricultural Water Users
Association, of which he is a


member, and Mutual have taken
this position.
SWFWMD regulations suggest,
he said; "that agriculture is going
to have a right to 40 inches of
water a year, and that we will have
a right to pump water when we
need it, basically 10 inches, be-
cause that's what has been sur-
plus, as a rough sort of average,
when it rained. If's my feeling they
should put no restrictions upon
agriculture's use of that 10 inches.
They should be able to use it if and
when aod how they want to use
it."
Dr. Griffiths likened the pump-
ing of water in April from the
Floridan aquifer to taking citrus
products out of a warehouse.
"We're taking water out of a ware-
house and creating space so that
when the rains, come in June, July
and August, if they are excessive,
there will be a place that water
can be stored and it won't all have
to run off." Means that increase
the "uptake of water by the land
so that it goes jnto the ground
rather than run out to the ocean in
the river, enhance our total water
supply."


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