The District's formal position has been presented at prior Water Element
Policy Advisory Committee meetings and we will continue to work through that
-vehicle, despite the fact that our involvement has not been effective in making
this a realistic workable document. In light of Mr. Hutchinson's prior comments,
however, it appears necessary to summarize our position on the water element for
1. The District can not support the current water element document. It
is not consistently grounded in sound hydrologic principles and does
not recognize the realities of water management in south Florida. In
addition much of the report contains broad sweeping statements or
inferred conclusions which are based on unknown or unspecified docu-
mentation. This is particularly true in the latter textual portion
of the document, which has not been reviewed by the Policy Advisory
As an example, two of the basic directions of the document and many of the
policies are to 1) bring water levels back to redevelopmentt levels" and 2)
employ water retention/detention areas in "upland areas" to increase percolation.
First, redevelopmentn" water levels are virtually unknown in a scientific sense
since drainage activities were initiated prior to the turn of the century, long
prior to adequate data collection programs. Second, there are very few areas
where water levels could be raised higher than they are currently without flooding
and property damage. Moreover, while the concept of "upland detention" can be
practiced in some areas of the District, most of south Florida is indeed lowlands
with already high groundwater levels. The simplistic principles of raising
groundwater levels and using upland retention are not adequate concepts on which
to base water resources policy. Optimizing water levels has and will continue to
be an objective of the District's water.management program.
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4. -^. -..... .. .. ._...
There are numerous other areas of substantive problems including the
water element's position on environmental versus economic balance, the practice
of deepwell injection, interbasin transport of water to name but a few.
Unless and until the document is substantially revised, the Water Element
can not warrant this agency's support or approval.
Statement presented at the
Public Meeting on the State
September 21, 1977
West Palm Beach, Florida
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