It'.-OAI.MES .MONDAY,'. NOVEMBER. -7 .1994
1OA TIMES 'MONDAY,'NOVEMBER 7, 1994.,* ,** i'*.
,.--i 0. .:. ..- .
Ieoigir g ans
At the Southwest Florida Water Man- that. Util we do, it's too early to envision
a4 'ment district officials gaze at the spar-. iulti ondolar desalination plants along
ig expansef the'Gulf of Mexico and see 'the'Pasc6'anid Pinellas coastlines.pumping
p drinkii -water.hey have enthusias- Nu' 20 t o 50-million gallons of drinking
tc y endorsed desalination'asthe-ineans ,water, day. while burning enough power to
which Tampa Bay could meet the iwate? meet the needs of 25,000 average residen-
nds of its 'mushroming population'20 "tial auitomers. .. : ..
s ~down the 'id.They might berigh Hstorically Siftmud has'been too .
b it's'too eaily t kethat ju'dg me Ick to eschewr coservatiori in favor of
D tion is an expensive ianid power-i technology to increase water supplies, and
te sive"option'that should be takeiroff the WesttC oast hai been too quick to look for
'ta le itil other solutions prove inadequte i'-ew wellfields'to bring on line, although to
or practical. .- 4.the agency's credit, it was the impetus
Swiftmud, .which regulates' how much behind the idea of a three-county water loop i
Ser the region can use, finds itself at odds 'conneting Pasco, Pinellas and -Hillsb6r-
desalination with the West Coast Re- ~dugh io'.O system that would allow for
gi Watei Stply Aithority, which man- deplet&d well fields to be rested and rotated i
ag s thei f local resources. West Coast th:hlpe of diminishing environmental
w ud niake thefinal d t'e' 'i nthedaigeto neby lakes and wetlands. :
ac eptbility aid the tiimetable'for desaiia~ O ifeji practical step for the future would
ti a idl isn'tyetlrea'dy todconcede we ccia'ti "-sta'ewide plan for water management
ge, along without it. --,.- ; ~' t overarches the regional decisionmak-
Amiiong the options for improving the ing process.' If a means could be found to
reon's water 'supply aire drill ni6 re' deliver water resources to areas where
we fields within Swiftmud's jurisdiction,' they are needed fromareas where they are
Spiping water from the northern part of the .,not, if interconnecting reservoirs were built
state where supplies are more plentiful and i en the few areas pf the state where the
the population is iiot so heavily concentrat- uiunderlying soil structure would support
edli depressing demand bj aising prices, -'them, if conservation and pricing decisions
making reclaimed water more readily avail- were uniform 'and fair, the entire state
able for residential and commercial irriga-. would likely benefit. The few attempts to
tion and forcing industry and agriculture to: interest''the 'Legislature in;,,developing a
economize their usage and pay a fair price statewide policy have failed, butit's worth
for what they consume. trying again.
S.If all these options were i play, there T :-Then, if it becomes apparent that our
still might not be enough water to see us best efforts aren't enough,':we, can talk
into the 21st century, but we don't know 'about desalination as a last resort.: