Title: "Water Shortages-Wave of Tomorrow?" Newspaper Clipping from the Miami Herald July 5, 1981
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00004118/00001
 Material Information
Title: "Water Shortages-Wave of Tomorrow?" Newspaper Clipping from the Miami Herald July 5, 1981
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
 Subjects
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
 Notes
Abstract: Jake Varn Collection - "Water Shortages-Wave of Tomorrow?" Newspaper Clipping from the Miami Herald July 5, 1981 (JDV Box 54)
General Note: Box 17, Folder 5 ( Water Policy - 1981 ), Item 5
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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Bibliographic ID: WL00004118
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
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Water s

By KEN WELLS '
Herald Staff Writer
April 1I, the year 2000. Fires rage in the
bone-dry Everglades. A battle rages in the
courts and people, about five million of
them, are outraged.
How could-South Florida, where water
seems to be everywhere, be out of water?
You can still shower, shave and wash
the dishes (every other day), but all other
water use is banned by law. Lawns from
Palm each to Miami Beach are dead. Golf
course look like manicured deserts.
Out in the coal-black muck that makes
up the farmlands rimming Lake Okeecho-
bee, the sugarcane growers are beside
themselves. Crops are stunted and' Lake
Okeecbhbee, where farmers always got
their .watr 1 during rainless summers,


I0A


S Sunday, 3uly f, 981


...... eas


South 'FediaPr'sl Future ,~

SThe farms use most of the water. The
urban coast pays for most of it There no
longer seems to be enough to go around.
iEl


Does't have a drop to spar
growers drained what little tl
ing the winter dry season.
nearly enough and the vege
was a disaster.
Farmers.get together and n
l a .desperate battle with ur
EjL


re. Vegetable for water rights
here was dur- Those thlng*'ay never happen but
But it wasn't they just might. This winter and next
table harvest spring, in fact, South Florida, without the
liberal intervention of Mother Nature,
larch to court faces the potential of its most devastating
bar residents drought in history. At stake: a $1-billion-


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huds,


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edra


Final
I Edition


75 cents:


e

plus agricu
of three mi
The 60 i
on the regi
But after
lamation a
growth, Si
long ruled
finds itself
urms and s
times to qu
"It's a
Hutchinson
er who is r
water woei
Out of t
are clear:
Naggi
become th


of tomorrow?


Itural industry and the lifestyles
Ilion coastal residents.
inches of rain that fall annually
on should satisfy the demand.
a century of often-reckless rec-
nd four decades of phenomenal
south Florida, a low, flat place
by the drainage ditch and pump,
flooded with people, condomini-
ugarcane fields and unable 'at
ench alltheir water needs.
hell of a mess," says Curry
L, a former state water research-
esearching a book)on the state's
S.
he mess, a few things already
ing water shortages are likely to
e rule, not the exception, be-


tween now and the year 2,000. Increased
demand, in fact, may precipitate future
droughts and water shortages even in
years of normal rainfall. When i4ro hts
come, the impact will be magnify" by
fierce competition for scarce supplies.
The battle between the farm, which
uses roughly two-thirds of the region's
,water, and the urban coast, which finances
roughly 80 per cent of South Florida's
dxliage and water-supply system, is
-Iund to escalate. It is a battle that the
South Florida Water Management District,
the arbiter of the region's water supply,
dreads. It is likely to end with the courts
deciding, once and'for all, who owns the

Please turn to WATER /21A


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^ 1 1 I I I I I -
The Miami Herald th
Sunday, July 5, 1981 .South .IrIda Ij *

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Water,


WATER/ From A
water that falls freely from the sky.
. Outside of conservation, there
are no quick and easy or at least
easy and affordable ways to
stretch or increase the present
water supply. Even partial solu-
tions are seven to 10 years away
and will cost hundreds, of millions
of dollars. Desalinization of sea-
water is technically feasible at
water rates 10 times what they are
now. And conservation, at least se-
rious conservation, is not popular.
Despite those problems, the
vater-management district at
least until the current drought -
has treated water as a virtually un-
limited resource. It continues to
ppsh for more taps on Lake Okee-
chobee, the region's chief reserve,
and it continues to allocate water-
use permits as if severe droughts
cannot happen.
The district, however, has no
legal control over the single most
important factor in determining
water demand: growth. Regional
and local-Vpvernments--make k4
decisions, often without regard to'
the amount of water available. The
result: a sort of backward process
in which finite water resources are
stretched over the seemingly un-
limited demands of growth.
'Limit our growth'
That's why those who under-
stand South Florida's complicated
water system and the pressures It
faces are starting to worry.
"I think there is some way we've
got to limit our growth, not just ag-
ricultural groUfW --'Ir."lta "
growth as well. South Florida can
only sustain so much urban devel-
opment and so much agriculture.
Somewhere along the line, we'll
rn'fatt f our atbrto carr.t t b
many people."
The statement may sound like a
tract from an environmental
pailphlet, but it isn't. It W* .
fro*a Dalton Yancedy. director. of
the Clewiston-bated Florida Sugar
Cane League.
Yancey's fear is pragmatic.
About 20,000 people farm South
Florida's million acres of tillable
land. Three million people live
alq4g the coast.
"There's pot a war there now,"
ancey, noting that the num-
en agriculture's side.
Want to start one."
r-bust swamp' wreckers.
t s dtle of the curtit ea-
iG sU .ma when Offe began


water


everywhere


Where the Water Flows
S.3


uh Flda w.e

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want to start one."
-bust swamp wreckers
tie of the current atte r
wmma when' thei bean


Add begai a massive,
publically fnancewj-
oIn known as the d*T
th Florida Flood Con-
ead in the Iissimmee
r, its heart in Lake
its.waterv arns dan-


the Ortject authorized by Con-
grss, bilt by the Army Corps-of
Engineers and managed by the
water-management district -
rivals in scale the Tennessee Valley
Authority.
Flood control, however, is anoth-
er -ay of saying drainage. While
thi project sought to correct some
of Jhe past abuses, it was itself a
product of the ditch-and-drain
mentality that has prevailed, in
Florida for so long and has caused
Salost as many problems is Iat bts
solved.

Side effects
v attempting to d4 A. pre-
Sve6nt nrricane floodhigr tffoast
and 750,000 acres of reclaimed
farmland south of Lake Okeecho-
bee, the project has sapped wet-
lands and lowered water levels
throughout the region, thus com-
promising the system's natural
water-storage abilities.
The lakes and great marhses of
the Kissimmee River chain were
lowered and Lake Okeechobee was
bottled up. The "river of grass" im-
mediately south of the lake was
drained for farming the pres-
enlay Everglada .
Ai *- breaking a vTta rendurish'
ing link with the marshes to the
south.
Levees caged the remaining
marshes, creating the conserva-
tiop-area, system. Water was im-
pouided; it stacked up instead of
flowed; canals were widened,
deepened, gated and fitted with
pumps. The grand result: a system
that in wet times sends millions of
gallons of water ouv to sea and in
dry times sends millions of gallons
of Lake Okeechobee water to the
coast just to keep salt water out of
coastal wells.
"Mother Nature might not have
needed all those wetlands she origi-
nally created, but she was smart
enough to realize she needed most
of them," Hutchinson says.
Jlanne BeHamy, a Coral Gablei
banker serving her first term on
the governing board of the South
Florida Water Management Dis-
trict, tends o agree.
"Nearly- everyone who has had a
hand in the taming of the Ever-
glades to date has acted from good
motives,". Bellamy says. "They
were always right to the extent of
their knowledge at the time and
the constraints of public policy. No


arps yve, rme wcuservauin areas: ne pro- Uplea fTitWeWThl n, dechannelizatio
claimed. Tats he'441apr
The I unorthodox as.it was, was well intend. That's the "favor
&y The shy impoitifments in Dade, bPowad virEq eentiis it w ld beAt
p Paint h couw^tst f a lot of water butL effective ln mvia l tiver
lle 7 west of fi ke .By ppttung
api l ,{lem, true. But- ar bends f e ver, Water le
Bto how would the dw1 by pis t wschbnes,
torg ee.Andwhathfk.thr outthr officials woArY11
aSt. sattrng the Water tha4.i W am n to protection.
becomaltn re water ii Lake Okeechobee
planners me h such options aft ,
With a $76-million levee project, that was c
Urban backpumping thlr ya a0go -- 2. years after it wa*frest
Pewose4i w, when nature cooperates, theb ike L
Each y6ag, rain falls along the coast. Canals fill lowed to rise to 17.5 feet by the end of the sum
up. Floodgates creak open and the precious resource rainy season. Scientists estimate that ought to ir
is lost to these. an average apnul* additional storage -a kI
Th e Is to ldstal giant pumps itraU lo- 40,000 acre-febt. water enough to )ly
. Etio s dqta few coter canal ptur e yI atY ate sae of Fo fia
'off and p t owf The levees of he by not.chtinue to rais6.
1ato the marshy coaeervatios areas. *mo*w et anght W tdize th blg WU
"District projections somw backpumpuing .at lake. NhOesy ka
provide the equivalent of 838 inifilop gallons 0 fS. b !
more than the region's current daily water de- t y. e cost of raisingjthe la
mand. The cost of such a system is about $100 mil- is fsa s $100 oillio
ion. "The district = i=6h abandoned the
a tdRagement alatrnative," says John Wodra
Deep aquifer storage their agirict'asledi t director.
This is an idea out of the 21st Centurya
storm runoff deep into the ground. There
form a "bubble" held in place by hydrostatic pres- S ls d the salty FloridaaL Aqul
sure. Then open a valve and nature's own iufW '-e it through
'will puish Ittuof the ground. verge osmosis. Flo water actually is cheaper
The district, the U.S. Geological Survey and the process than pure sea water. The problem: Demil
Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Authority conducted alized water currently costs eight to 10 times rr
aquifer-storage test in Mlami two years ago an4 than fresh white from lii Biscaype Aquifer.


tion to Lake Okeechobee, a sprawling, recover for a year or two, the
ices of shallow 740'iquare-mile cistern, agedt say. To expect the lake i
or bad. for backup *atet supplies. to get the region through fh
differ- Three y)ss ago $76 million was droquhts without severe ratk
lowed, spent to rise the flke'9 feees. Na- is urealistlc, water managers
r That ture willing, the water level was erally concede.
allowed to rise to 17.5 feet, two Coastal consumption, a 1971
e were feet higher than it had been al- trict report states, will rise to
we'd lowedto rise to before. one billion gallons a day by
Maloy, By water-management-district turn of the century, 80 per
he man projections, the new level should more than today. Agricultural
massive put an average of 450,000 addition, which already accounts for tw.
al, are-feet ( single oo of three gallons consumed, al
I- t"R" cach' r N atai h ahose demands against
amount was thought sufficient vir- year's drought without
rict of- tally to "dmiqghtproof" the region sourceaof water and the result
er-Sup- through 1985 and take care of most disastrous.
overlook w-ter needs through the year 2000. Except for conservation, I
billion And that was given a drought of ever, even modest solution:
d a $1- 1970-71 proportions. South Florida's water dilel
industry Despite those projections, the may be a decade away. All
lake barely has been.able to meet costly, fraught with control
id the demands during 'this ye*r's. vid,.insome cases, untried anc
sandy drought. It slumped to 2N ae.r,, prov- Conservation is an ex
Supon l:.ow this meath and may- ot fully tion and so is desalinization,


one really had the informa
know what the consequen
those acts would be, good
And they didn't know the
ence between water that1 i
however slowly, and wate
was] impounded."
"There's no doubt if we
doing the project over today
do it differently," says Jack
the district's director and t
who now presides over the t
flood-control project.


Still, Maloy and other dist
ficials say that despite wat
ply concerns, they can't o'
flood protection. About $80
in Gold Coast real estate an
billion-a-year agricultural it
depend on it.
The glittering coast at
coal-black muck farms and
tomato fields also depend


In MaY. aterdiat~wim't u--..




solved.

Side effects


attemptinto Ve-..
veftbaurricane f one really had the Information to
and 750,000 acres of reclaimed know what the consequences of
farmland south of Lake Okeecho- those acts would be, good or bad.
bee, the project has sapped wet- And they didn't know the differ-
lanls and lowered water levels ence between water Ithati flowed,
throughout the region, thus corn- however slowly, and water [that
promising the system's natural was] Impounded.'"
wiaer-storage abilities. "There's no doubt if we were
The lakes and great marhses of doing the project over today, we'd
the Kissimmee River chain were do it differently," says Jack Maloy,
lowered and Lake Okeechobee was the district's director and the man
boiled up. The "river of grass" irm- who now presides over the massive
mediately south of the lake was flood-control project.
drdioed for farming the pres-
ena- Ever gadeL ailto i t I ky
breaking a renuris SYU
ing link with the marshes to the Still, Maloy and other district of-
south. ficials say that despite water-sup-
Levees caged the remaining ply concerns, they can't overlook
marshes, creating the conservia- flood protection. About $80 billion
tion-area, system. Water was im- in Gold Coast real estate and a $1-
pounded; it stacked up instead of billion-a-year agricultural industry
flowed; canals were widened, depend on it.
deepened, gated and fitted with The glittering coast and the
pumps. The grand result: a system coal-black muck farms and sandy
that in wet times sends millions of tomato fields also depend upon
gallons of water ou4 to sea and in
dry times sends millions of gallons
of Lake Okeechobee water to the
coast just to keep salt water out of
coastal wells.
"Mother Nature might not have
needed all those wetlands she origi-
nally created, but she was smart
enough to realize she needed most
of em,"iHutchinsosays. '
SJine i tamy, a Coai Gabl~i
banker serving her first term on
the governing board of the South
Florida Water Management Dis-
trict, tends (o agree.
"Nearly everyone who has had a
hand in the taming of the Ever-
glades to date has acted from good
motives,". Bellamy says. "They
were always right to the extent of
their knowledge at the time and
the constraints of public policy. No; In May, water-district sci


I .


1 1 .0066Ab-1mbh I-


.. ..,,fr- -*.':
Lake Okeechobee, a sprawling,
shallow 7436square-aWle cistern,
for backup' ater supplfs.
Three Yies agS $76 million was
spent to rids* the llke'l virees. Na-
ture willing, the water level was
allowed to rise to 17.5 feet, two
feet higher than it had been al-
lowed to rise to before.
By water-management-district
projections, the new level should
put an average of 450,000 addition
al acre-feet (. single acrefoot

amount was thought sufficient vir-
tually to "dhoqghtproof" the region
through 1985 ind take care of most
water needs through the year 2000.
And that was given a drought of
1970-71 proportions.
SDespite those projections, the
lake barely has been. able to meet
demands during' this year's
drought. It slumped to a 25-year.
. low this month and may not fully


recover for a year or two, the
agent say. To expect the lake
to get the region through f
droights without severe ratii
is unrealistic, water managers
erally concede.
Coastal consumption, a 197
trict report states, will rise to i
one 'billion gallons a day b,
turn of the century, 80 per
more than today. Agriculture
which already accounts for tw
. of three gallons consumed, a
paected to increase med
'Mesh those demands against
year's drought without
sources of water and the result
disastrous.
Except for conservation,
ever, even modest solution
South Florida's water dile
may be a decade away.- Al
costly, fraught with control,
and, in.some cases, untried an
p roven. Conservation is an e
tion and so is desalinization


r -1e-- !o
'r
v
8nti9ts walk through pe~b~cogrvafion a net
?i
~-...
Ir,


al ___ __ "_ _~ I __ __I _L~~l~ s ----- T 11-


* "TIU-hiTrT~e tI.WS GebIogrcal Survey and the
Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Authority conducted
aqulfer-storage testa Iht iari two years a&* and


I 2-Mwn r w.z 1n wV av-l ary to
process than pure sea water. The problem: Demil
alized water currently costs eight to 10 times n
than fresh witef tsom the Biscaype Aquifer.


.--7- 7 --i-----


-- ,--r.- .--


I


__ ,_ ____ ~_ ~i~ __I ..- -- -~-- ~ ~acLII~ -- -- -














or,.is


Both come with large political and
economic price tags.,

Regionalization
The water-management district, :
spurred by the present drought, has
stepped up efforts to get utilities,
counties and cities tO upgrade and
regionalize water plants and devel-
op. long-range conservation pro-
grams.
The benefits -of regionalization
are apparent -.n, Dade County,
where a,single, autonomous water
authority avoids wasteful localized
competition for ground water and
sends water to customers through
a large, efficient regional distribu-
tion system. But in Broward and
Palm Beach counties, where virtu-
ally every city has its own water
ptant, regionalization is far from
reality.
The water-management district,
however, will be reluctant to lean
on taxpaying consumers to under-
take more than modest conserva-
tion without a crisis.
"We've got a lot of people out
there who remind us tlat we take a
lot of tax mdney from them to
manage the system and we ought
to take care of the water problem,"
Maloy says.
Desalinization is a possible im-
mediate solution. Within six
months," reverse-osmosis .plants
tapping the ocean's virtually unlim-
ited water could dot the entire
urban coast. The catch: water bills
of about $10 per 1,000 gallons,
roughly 10 times what they are
now. Florida Keys consumers pay
those rates because they have no
other choice, but water users in
Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West
Palm Beach probably won't, at
least not yet.
"There is no actual shortage of
water in South Florida," says John
Wodraska, the district's assistant
director. "The question is: How
much are you willlg to pay for
it?"
Ultimately, however, the water
question boils down to growth.
"The real issue," Nat Reed. a,
water-management-district gov-
,erning-board member from Hobe
Sound, recently told his colleagues,
"is how many people are we going
to put on this peninsula."
But not everyone agrees tat
growth is the ultimate IssneWtBit '
water'ought to be used as a limit-
ing factor.
"If I decide tomorrow to move to
Oregon, who's to say I shan't?"
says Bellamy, a feisty woman
whose reporting for The BM4J ai
Herald after the 1947 '*: "
greatly Influenced the dev' i'.


In the upper Kissimmee River
basin, for instance, houses, condo- ,
miniums and weekend camps al-
ready crowd the flood plain. To
raise water levels in the-lower Kis-
simmee Basin vastly might jeopardy,
ize the homes and people above it,
Maloy says.
That, of course, is a replay of the
historical dilemma: Drainage
brings people, who lobby for more
drainage, which in turns brings
more people.

More taps asked
Ironically, the district, perhaps C
struggling with its old flood-cOn,;
trol and reclamation heritage, con-
tinues' to push for more drainage
systems and ,more taps on Lake '
Okeechobee -- for Hendry and St.
Lucie counties, for instance.
The district admits those plans
are drawing fire as the public,
forced for the first time in 10 years "
to conserve water, becomes more ,
aware of water-supply problems. : ,
"There are a lot of people
throughout all. of'South Florida
who already are worried' alout '
whether we should allow any more
straws to 'be put into Lake Okee-
chobee, because in the past year '
we've drawn it down," Wodraska
says.
But he and other district officials
defend such projects partly on the '
ground that they give the district :
"more flexibility" in managing,
supplies. In wet years, for instance,
when summer rains send 4ake,,
Okeechobee and the marshy :.
water-conservation areas lapping
above safe flood-control levels, the
district is forced -to dump millions .
of gallons of fresh water to the sea
via its canal system, Wodraska
says.
"If would be better if we could "
send that water someplace where :/
people could use it," he adds. *
"The fallacy of that is that peo-
pie didn't Srnd water'hen it's wet,
they need it 'wheinit P drry, ays
Hutchinson, a former researcher
for the old Division of State Plan-
ning and a frequent water-manage-


_
I CI


im


OUARYTIL CRA rG ?L


i- ..~-;'




whose reporting ror Ine-nramr--
Herald after the 1947 hatrisaie
greatly influenced the development
of the region's modern-day flood-
control project. "People are going
to come here, and we ought to try
Nto outlook sought-~- -

New outlook sought


Yet Bellamy is just as adamant _.
that accommodation of growth re-
quires a nurturing of the natural Jeanne Bellamy: Seeks change
Everglades ecosystem and a shift in in attitude.
water-management practices from
draining wetlands to preserving ment-district critic. Once tapped
them. into the lake, the new users can
"Our whole policy of whether to claim the right to use water, a right ;
get rid of water or to keep it has to equal to that of even long-time -
be to keep it," she says. users, he says.
Environmentalists, who warn In drought, that means more
that concern over water supplies competition for an already dimin-
must not overshadow concerns for Ishid resource a point the dis-
the environment and water quality, trict concedes.
share Bellauy's senttmentts, though Part of the dilemma is that the i;
not her motives. district is expected to plan for ,
"The last thing in the world we water use based upon land-use *
need in South Florida is more ca- plans aid population projections ?
nals and drainage ditches, -" .s about whi~c aw c do'? .

sometimes controversial Ever- A possible answer
glades ecologist who would tie
water-supply solutions to a plan to The district's answer to that,
restore historical flows of water to short of authority to tell people
the Everglades. how they can use their land, may
In Marshall's Ihind, that means be to limit future water allocations
dechannelizing rivers, the Kisstm- by demanding some sort of reason-
mee in particular, reflooding able per-capita use. That will work 1
marshes and, in some' cases, top- for urban consumptiba, but doesn't
pling levees, at least those in the, address the question of future agri-
vast water-conservation areas that cultural or industrial allocations. At
don't directly provide flood protec- bet, district officials say, such a
tion. move is years away.
The cumulative result, says Mar- Before that happens, the courts
shall: The natural system would may be asked to decide the current
,keep its water longer well into unanswered question of water-
the dry season, when it is most rights. State policy now holds that
needed. Water quality would im- the water belongs to the state but
prove as the marshes, acting as nat- that its citizens have a right to use 1;
ural filters, cleansed impurities it. Aicempetitlonincreases alith4i
from the gentle southward sheet state has to make tough decisions
flow. on who get$ what, some landown-
SHow much attention Marshall's ers may want a clearer answer, 41
plan will get from water managers says Robert Grafton, the district's
is uncertain, however, though few chief lawyer.
now quarrel with its premise. At some point, Grafton says, a -
IEven Maloy has given tacit sup- city will want to move a wellfield
port to the concept, though he is to the west. Adjacent landowners
likely to become tenaciously cau- may object, saying the water being
tious about putting such a plan into taken belongs to them because it
effect. Maloy says hischief concern drains off their land. The fight will -:
is that one man's restoration is an- be on.
other man's flood. Whether the district ever gets '


RED MORGAN / Miami Herald Staff
-. eoBa Raton.


ipto land-use planning could be-
come one of the great political is-
sues of the decade.
"We have to know, what the q
public and political sentiment is," '
Grafton says. "Is it to allow;
growth and enhance the water sup-
ply? Is that it? Or should we be
saying we don't~eiwthe.water in
the system and we can't afford the ,
growth?
"That's a difficult philosophical
consideration that we can't supply
tti answer to. That's a question 4
that political leaders should assess,
and with much input from the pub-
lic."
At least one thing is certain, ac-
cording to Grafton: "You've got to
find a way of enhancing the sup-
ply, or we've got to find a way of
mitigating the need."


I--HF.Y


ILA w U.


t~
i


' -





S.. i --* R--t BUWW ONLEE/Miami Herald Staff
A graphic look at South Florid 'pl a stam.*
." ,% .- -- + -


LIW^ s~t#sM wgestions


tokeep .South Florida wet
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By KEN WELLS Ee'tti tlo ltly Its undertaking simi-
Herald Staff Wriler lar studio ntar F rt'ers to determine if such a
At a meeting of the South MrWid4Water. Man.- P eM ft a largp sctle. On problem
agement District some years awa board member is u tt tter pumped into the ground
figured he had just solved pat of South Florida's can be rttrieved.
water problem. ..,
"Tarps over the conseratle m.areasl",b e pro- Upland hiecd anelizatlio
claimed.
The idea, unorthodox asit was, was weal iteiad hat's the fn.avo ..en-
ad. The tarshy impound'tnf la LDade, tOW d :.y
and Palm Beach counts hoA a lot of wvter butlor '
a lot to evaporation. west of Lak. e. By putting gates .eirs
Tarpaulns would solve the problem, true. But or bends t,.hi river, Water levels, ,.twn
u needs sun to survive And how would the down by palst r ae schemes, woutd rise
aliaatoreel? And what .t a thr oout thf F officials worry about
tjo: *attWn -14W M* anterem protection.
Swath TF*,-mri!-t.S tf .-,, .- ------w ..,.- -,-
become more imper ti, water : -i Lake Okeechobee
planners are co ring such options '
Wfth a $76-million levee project, thal V done
Urban backpumping threat yes ago 2. yam after it waptt'pro.
posed. Now, when nature cooperates, thelka is al-
Each yar, rain falls along the coast. Canals fill lowed to rise to 17.5 feet by the end of tih summer
up. Floodgates creak open and the precious resource rainy season. Scientists estimate that ought to mean
is lost to the sea. an average annual additional storagert', About
The idea Is to install giant pumps Is strat c lo. 400,000 acre-feet of water, enough toA. the
nations, dig a few cotllct canals, Qpture. t1. yealy demand qf a Sty the size o F
off and pump It oyve the levees of tfaw v :.. why not continue to rals two
to the marshy conservative areas. '* mo et- aight lUpardize the .M pl c e
districtt projections show backpampingRi l! e lak.
providq the equivalent of 838 mflloa gallons it 't S its
- more than the region's current daily water de e cost of e's
mand. The cost of such a system is about $100 mil. .is I mIh a_ gis.el .
lion. "e dtrict much abaieaM that a
a *41getnt ale native," says John Woedrass,
Deep aquifer storage 9' the tt'sassifa t director.


S This is an idea out of the 21st Century,m1 -
storm runoff deep into the ground. There ;i E.'
form a "bubble" held in place by hydrostatla Pts
sure. Then open a valve and nature's own pi-.r
will push it out of the ground.
The district, the U.S. Geological Survey and the
Mlami-Dade Water and Sewer Authority conducted
aquifer-storage tests it Miami two years ago, ad


.,Si$ s'e salty Floridan Aquifer,
,dan a i lW lmlal de fze it through re-
verse osmosit. Ploridn water actuily is cheaper to
process than pure sea water. The problem: Deminer-
alized water current costs eight to 10 times more
than fresh wtel ^pa the Biscaype Aquifer.


ine really had the inform
know what the consequci
those acts would be, good
And they didn't know the
ence between water [that
however slowly, and water
was] Impounded."
"There's no ,doubt if w
long the project over today
1o it differently," says Jack
he district's director and t
who now presides over the
lood-control project.
Floedwrsti Wtrii
Still, Maloyand other dis
Icials say that despite wa
)ly concerns, they can't o


nation to Lake Okeechobee, a sprawi ,.' reo er for a year or two, the man-
nces of allow 74Oeqre-e cistprn, ;grsay. To expect the lake alone
or bad. to backupMatei sup to get the region through future
differ- Three' aj$Sa Silon was dtro ts without severe rationing
flowed, spent to raMle te lke'S etes. Na- is itrealisttc, water managers gen-
er [that ture willing, the water level was eral concede.
allowed to rise to 17.5 feet, two Coastal consumption, a 1978 dis-
e were feet higher than it had been al- trictreport states, will rise to about
y, we'd lowed to rise to before. oi 'Bllion gallons a day by the
Maloy, By water-management-district MtUrnpf the century, 80 per cent
he man projections, the new lvel sbo mer. tlan today. Agricultural use,
massive put an averaged t 450l0 ai .whlcbirlready accounts for two out
al acre-feet rthIde V also is
"",''_mN .alea.tly.
t ose demands against this
amount was thought sufficient vir- yea's drought without ,new
trict of- tually to "deqghtproof" the region yC of water and the results are
teratup- through 199 ad take care of most di jl ous.
verlotk wCtter needs through the year 2000. Except fnr erm n rvs i-....


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