Public Meeting on Regional Water Supply Issues to be Held March 7th
Two water management districts and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will host a public meeting March 7 to bring stakeholders together to discuss water supply issues in north Florida.
The meeting will be an opportunity to share progress made and projects planned as part of the North Florida Regional Water Supply Partnership (Partnership) -- an initiative to protect natural resources and ensure cost-effective and sustainable water supplies. A website with details about the Partnership was launched today at northfloridawater.com. The website will be updated regularly on the progress of the Partnership and upcoming meetings.
The St. Johns River and Suwannee River water management districts and DEP will also announce at the meeting the formation of a stakeholder committee that will serve in an advisory capacity to the districts and DEP. The committee will include representatives of groups and entities from throughout the region. Input will be sought at the meeting on potential committee members.
The meeting will be held from 6-8 p.m. at Alachua City Hall at 15100 N.W. 142nd Terrace, Alachua.
"The districts and DEP have been working closely together on north Florida's regional water supply issues," said Hans G. Tanzler III, executive director of the St. Johns District. "We've made progress and it's now time to further involve our stakeholders as we continue our forward momentum."
Tanzler and Suwannee District Assistant Executive Director Charlie Houder in February and March are meeting with 13 north Florida county commissions to engage them in the Partnership.
"Partnerships are critical to protecting our shared water resources," Houder said. "Through our work with St. Johns, DEP and the communities and stakeholders throughout the region, we will ensure long-term, sustainable water supplies."
"Getting Florida's water right, in terms of water quality and water supply, is crucial to the future of our state and one of our top priorities at DEP," said DEP Deputy Secretary for Water Policy and Ecosystem Restoration Greg Munson. "The North Florida Regional Water Supply Partnership is a great step to helping us better understand and manage our water resources, and we look forward to partnering with the water management districts, local governments, and other stakeholders to ensure a sustainable water supply."
Some elements of the Partnership include:
Developing a shared tool to predict and assess water resource impacts
Studying the regional groundwater decline in north Florida
Creating consistency and coordination in setting minimum flows and levels
Collecting and sharing science-based data
Developing a regional water supply plan
Forming the stakeholder committee to ensure that stakeholders have a meaningful opportunity to provide input