Proposed water plans
could affect Bay area
By KATHLEEN BEEMAN
Tribune Staff Writer 8. q
TAMPA Water restrictions
proposed for the Sarasota Bay ar-
ea could trigger huge pumping cut-
backs and sharp water price in-
creases in the Tampa Bay area,
according to Pinellas officials.
While the restrictions are di-
rected at Sarasota and all or parts
of seven other counties, some of
the rules would affect the entire
16-county Southwest Florida Water
If those went into effect, the
Tampa Bay area would face tre-
mendous water supply problems,
Pinellas attorney Edward de la
Parte said. Southwest's district
stretches from Marion County to
Charlotte County, and east to High-
"It'd be a horrific impact," he
told Southwest officials Wednes-
day during a two-hour meeting.
One of the proposed rules
would prohibit any environmental
damage outside the boundaries of
a well or wellfleld property. That
would mean the Tampa Bay area's
suppliers including Pinellas -
would be to buy large tracts of
land around the wellfields, he
said. All told, the area's water sup-
pliers would have to spend at least
$500 million to buy 80,000 acres of
land, de la Parte said. i
And that, he said, would mjke
water prices go up by 800 percent
The wellfields system supplies V
ter to 1.2 million people in Piner-
las, Pasco and Hillsborough coun-
Southwest attorney Karen
Lloyd said she would examine de
la Parte's objections. But phe
called his statements about huge
pumping cutbacks and prices
After the meeting, SouthWest
chief geologist Ken Weber saidide
la Parte was trying to "blow
smoke" with "sensational" state-
ments. Weber said any cutbacks
would be phased in slowly and n-
ly if accompanied by other watlr
options, such as desalination.
Initially, he said, the rules ohly
would affect three of the seven
wellfields. The other four well-
regional wellfleld system would fields are in the midst of applying
have to cut pumping by 75 per- for new permits and would oper-
cent, de la Parte said.
The only other option to water See WATER, Page 7
Water restrictions may set prec 4 s,
* From Page 1
ate under existing rules. icia
SStil, de la Parte and Pinellas Utilities Direc- Area including all or nartk nf .r-a --- -'T '
r .ITICK clauey said the restrictions ultimately
w oumld affect all wellfields.
i.1 Talley said even rules directed only at
"ft ta region would set precedents for the
S pam ay area.
*':Those precedents could range from a propos-
Si to set a per capital water limit of 110-gallon per
ay to requirements for use of recycled water,
he sid. The proposed rules were developed for a
'5,100-scuare mile Southern Water Use Caution
Charlotte, Hillsborough, Polk, High e
and DeSoto counties.
The restrictions and conservation.
aimed at reducing the amount of water
from underground reservoirs because o
ing is allowing sea water to push in and
Talley and de la Parte said they will '
written objections to the rules and present
ments against them during public hearings SeO
19 and 27...