Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection has unveiled an initiative intended to “create more consistent water-use permitting” across the state’s five water management districts. The DEP, via the water management districts, has the power to issue consumptive-use permits, which give businesses or other entities the right to withdraw a specified volume of water each year.
Permits are often issued as long-term agreements of 10, 20 or even 30 years, but each permit is reviewed by its water management district on a more regular basis.
One of the proposed changes from the DEP is that once a permit has been issued, water management districts are unable to reduce the volume of water-pumping allowed. Think about it - a local power plant or factory could receive a 25-year permit to pump 1,000 gallons daily. As other companies receive their own water permits, aquifer levels become dangerously low, and the Water Management District (WMD) reviews all of its consumptive use permits to ensure a secure water supply. Under the DEP’s proposed initiative, the WMD is unable to cut back on anyone’s permitted water usage.
This could be disastrous for our water supply, and the Florida Conservation Coalition along with other groups has spoken out against it.
[Source: The Current]