The “Secretary’s Three Priorities”

What is FDEP all about? In the hagiography that Herschel Vinyard left behind him, his three “priorities” are called “fundamental goals”:

  • Improve the regulatory process,
  • Increase access to our award-winning state parks,
  • “Get the water right.” (p.1)

The current FDEP homepage, without explanation, rephrases the Big Three:

  • Developing a consistent and effective regulatory process.
  • Ensuring the quality and quantity of our state’s water resources.
  • Increasing the access to our award-winning state parks.

Did the public have any role in picking the original “three priorities”? Is there an explanation for the revisions? Do we know, after four years, what additional changes in the “regulatory process” are being considered? Was there an advisory committee of the general public or of experts? A website to solicit opinion? The circulation of draft priorities and subsequent revision? Any explanation of how these “priorities” influence the current House and Senate water bills?

Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, and nope. Shouldn’t every Floridian be allowed to contribute to changes in state government water policy?


The “Secretary’s Three Priorities” — 5 Comments

    • Well the State claims ownership of all the water that nature supplies, whether it be in the sky, on the surface, or in the ground. DEP supervises the operation of the WMDs (is that Water Management Districts or Weapons of Mass Destruction?). It has imposed standards for the processing time for consumptive permits and limited the number of requests for additional information and insisted that permits continue to be issued in water caution areas so I guess you might conclude that DEP’s control over quantity of water is that there is to be no limit to the quantity which may be allocated even if there is a finite limit on what is available. Kinda like the Congress asking the Fed to print money for them to spend, but nobody has explained to me how you print water.

      I wonder what the farmers with all these permits are going to think when we suffer successive ten-year droughts and the WMDs are forced into declaring water shortages and then using that fine print in the permits to reopen and reduce the authorized withdrawals. Our local Nero fiddlers need to be looking to what is happening in Californicatya and consider the prospects for similar events in Florida. Praying for rain is a futile exercise in wishful thinking, not management. Perhaps they’ll petition the legislature for a statute to allow the drafting of virgins to appease the rain gods.

  1. No problem for agriculture. The idea in one WMD is to pump sewage treated water in to deep aquifer, therefore increasing the underground flow, plus two other highly strange ideas that would increase the flow of Silver Springs so that the ag industry can claim there is sufficient flow for their permits to be granted.

    • I don’t understand the push to “recharge” the aquifer by force feeding it reclaimed water. There shouldn’t be any reclaimed water to use for recharge. If it’s reclaimed, it should be used to offset existing groundwater withdrawals, not stuffed back. If they can build a pipeline from the Alachua WWTF to offset part of GREC’s cooling and generation needs, they can build a pipeline from the Kanapaha WWTF to do the same and eliminate even more withdrawals. Water removed from the aquifer needs to be recycled until its exhausted, not put back in some semi-treated form. If it meets “drinking water” standards, then there is no reason but aesthetics not to recycle it back into the potable water system. Oh, GRU is building a secondary distribution system to facilitate landscape irrigation so the “rich” aren’t burdened by the progressive rate tiers for their wasteful consumption.

    • Try stormwater Madeline - SRWMD recently installed a drainage well that receives, in part, stormwater from Hwy90. Now I have a preference to drinking chlorinated toilet water in Live Oak above water from an adjacent well.

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