Monday, November 17, 2014

Is Miami-Dade County moving to shrink the size of our well field protection zone? … by gimleteye

One of the least understood and most important areas of public policy in South Florida involves the dispute over fresh water and its costs. Last night's 60 Minute episode on ground water mining of fresh water in California is sobering to say the least. California is in the midst of a drought for which there is no precedent in recorded, modern history.

In large part, the southern part of the state is only habitable thanks to deep well drilling. A huge percentage of the nation's food supply is grown in California and aquifer depths are plunging from surface to more than a thousand feet underground.

The water that is being tapped now to keep South California in business are ancient reserves that accumulated over centuries. What happens when those sources of fresh water dry up? No one ventures to say.

60 Minutes expose.

Why reduce the size of the protection zones?
The California crisis puts some context into the strange move to shrink the size of the well field protection area that serves 2.2 million residents of Miami-Dade with fresh water. The reason that everything to do with water management is controversial in Florida is that any number of insiders have call on water resources in ways that could drastically affect price and availability.

To start: there is the builders' lobby whose existence is based on obtaining water for new developments, there is Big Ag -- and Big Sugar, especially -- that demands its rights for water management must precede all others, then last but not least: the rock miners who have been chipping away at well field protections for many years. Oh, and Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park: remember them?

Climate change, changes everything when it comes to water in Florida. "Groundwater is like a savings account", says 60 Minutes. In Miami-Dade, every bonded savings account is mortgaged to the hilt. Why mess with something that nature provides for free? Because we can. Still, with climate change on the horizon, making decisions on water withdrawals that could shrink the boundaries of the well field protection zone in Florida's most populous county makes no sense.


Anonymous said...

Why? Because the well field protection zone is in the way of big money - as in the expanded the highways by MDX to allow more development in the Bird Drive Basin. As in moving the Youth Fair to the Bird Drive Basin. It's the height of immorality. And where is this being reported in the mainstream media?

Gimleteye said...


Anonymous said...

Is there an agenda item coming up? At least we will have Daniella up there. Oy

Anonymous said...

This is happening quietly and quickly. The new boundaries are quite odd and probably not defensible by a hydrologist with any real credibility. The water wars are here, folks need to engage. Don't count on the BCC to look after the public interest. When county experts say this is ok, the BCC will not challenge.