March 3, 1972
TO: Mr. Charles H. Palermo
FROM: Jake D. Varn, Attorney
As requested, I have set out below many of the points that I made in my presentation
to the Clearwater Springtime Kiwanis Club.
1. The Southwest Florida Water Management District is responsible for
developing and implementing a comprehensive water management program throughout
the fifteen counties that lie within the District.
2. The only source of water for the District Is rainfall there are no under-
ground rivers that bring water Into the state from Alabama or Georgia.
3. Florida obtains approximately 85% of its water from the water bearing
limestone, known as the Floridan aquifer. It has been estimated that the Floridan
aquifer contains about five times as much as the Great Lakes.
4. The "Primer on Ground Water" that I've enclosed discusses on pages 15
and 18 the problem of salt water intrusion.
5. The Pinellas peninsula has an available water crop of less than 10 million
gallons per day. At present the cities of Clearwater, Dunedin and Belleaire are
withdrawing more than 10 mgd. Clearwater alone is withdrawing 10.6 mgd. If this
rate of withdrawal continues, salt water intrusion will destroy the existing source of
supply. Salt water intrusion forced the City of St. Petersburg to leave the Pinellas
peninsula in the 1930's.
The two largest suppliers of water In Pinellas County City of St. Peters-
burg and Pinellas County do not withdraw water from the peninsula. Pinellas
County is located In the northeast corner of the county and St. Petersburg has well
fields In Hillsborough and Pasco counties.
6. 1970 Water Use (based on U.S. Geological Survey data)
County Public Industrial Irrigation
Pasco 2.0 mgd 3.0 mgd 9.6 mgd
Pinellas 32 mgd 2.0 mgd 4.0 mgd
Hillsborough 79.8* mgd 51.9 mgd 69.3 mgd
*Includes 28 mgd imported from Hillsborough County to Pinellas County
7. 1970 Ground Water Use in portions of Pasco, Hillsborough and Pinellas
City of St. Petersburg 28.4 mgd
Pinellas County 24.7 mgd
University of South Florida 1.1 mgd
City of Temple Terrace 1.0 mgd
City of New Port Richey 0.9 mgd
8. We are not running out of water. Our biggest task Is to make more
efficient use of our water. As individuals we may have to cut down on the amount
of water we use (I.e. do without garbage disposals, dishwashers, sprinkling systems, etc.).
As governmental units that supply water, we will have to make more efficient use of our
water resources. We shouldn't compete for water. Well fields shouldn't be developed
too close to one another. The well fields should be developed in a manner so that salt
water intrusion will not occur. We must not "mine" our water (see page 18 in the
primer). Areas that offer a high potential for well field development are in the upper
watersheds of the Anclote and Pithlachascotee Rivers and the Cypress Creek areas.
9. Twenty or thirty years from now plans may be developed to capture the
water from Weeki Wachee, Chassahowitzka, Homosassa and Crystal River. These
springs discharge approximately one billion gallons per day.
10. In recent months several meetings have been held one by Senator Knopke
and one by Mayor Goldner, City of St. Petersburg -- to encourage the development of
a regional water supply unit for Pasco, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. The South-
west Florida Water Management District has strongly encouraged the formation of such
a regional authority because it feels that this is the most efficient method hydrologi-
cally and financially efficient to develop our water resources.