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 Water Policy and Management Principles and Priorities

Principles

  1. Florida’s water belongs to the people and must be maintained as a public resource.
  2. We must maintain effective state safeguards to ensure that we have abundant and clean water for us, our children and grandchildren.
  3. It is essential to protect Florida’s rivers, streams, springs, lakes, aquifers, sinks, and wetlands and their associated systems to safeguard our water resources, fish and wildlife, and the many recreational benefits they provide.
  4. We must protect Florida’s estuaries and near-shore waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico as they are dependent on clean fresh water flowing from the land and are the basis of recreational and commercial fishing and Florida’s seafood industry.
  5. It is imperative that we protect Florida’s significant natural lands as they cleanse and store our drinking water as well as the water needed to support agriculture and the environment.
  6. We must protect our water supply from over use, which can be caused by over-development, over-pumping for agriculture, industrial and other uses, and is made worse in times of drought.
  7. To accomplish these principles, Florida’s regional watershed-based system of managing and protecting water needs to be maintained to avoid a one size fits all approach that would disrupt present and future efforts to provide clean water supplies to all Floridians.

Benefits

Clean water is a vital resource because beaches, rivers, lakes, streams, sinks, wetlands and uplands:

  • Provide significant economic benefits from associated tourism.
  • Support Florida’s environment including natural lands, wildlife, and vegetation.
  • Store and cleanse drinking water and water for personal and business uses for close to 20 million residents and more than 80 million visitors a year.
  • Support agriculture, a multibillion-dollar industry in Florida.
  • Provide untold recreational opportunities for millions of residents and visitors.
Florida's waters are her lifeblood. Their health directly relates to the health of our wildlife, citizens, visitors, and the economy.

Image courtesy ©John Moran/LINC

Threats

Florida’s water faces serious threats including drought, over pumping, saltwater intrusion, and pollution caused by runoff from development and agriculture, within sensitive watersheds.  These threats are confounded by funding cuts to water management districts, failure to fund the Florida Forever program, top down water management from the state instead of regional districts, talk of piping water from one watershed to another, and moves toward privatizing water as a commodity instead of treating water as a public resource.  

The Florida Conservation Coalition emphasizes the following priorities:   

  • Restoring reasonable funding for Florida’s regional water management districts to provide for water quality protection, adequate water supplies, flood protection, and natural resources protection.
  • Funding Florida Forever including acquiring land for water resource protection.
  • Reaffirming Florida’s commitment to restore the Everglades, upon which South Florida’s water supply and quality of life depends. 
  • Managing Florida’s water resources at the regional, not state level.
  • Ensuring that growth management laws and policies support sustainable use of water.
  • Promoting efficient use and conservation of water.
  • Opposing efforts to privatize Florida’s water.

 

** The Florida Conservation Coalition has included a “one-click option” to help those who want a convenient way to reach those who need to be contacted, but it is technically impossible to make this function with all email clients. There will also be a downloadable and printable text version that can be copied into your email, but you will have to also place the addresses individually.  We are sorry for the additional time that this second option might require but that is the state of current technology.**


Florida Conservation Coalition

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