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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ocklawaha Under Assault

Published August 17, 2007
The Ocklawaha is one of Florida's loveliest clear-water rivers. The 110-mile-long canopied river begins northeast of the Green Swamp and flows through various lakes (including Harris, Dora, Eustis, and Apopka) on its way to the St. Johns River.

The Marion County Commission is understandably concerned about such proposals. At a recent meeting with St. Johns River Water Management District, officials worried about the impact of large- scale water transfers on the ecological health of Silver Springs, Rainbow Springs and the river.

... the state's "Local Sources First" law - which tells communities to exhaust all local supplies of water before looking elsewhere for more - does not apply to surface water, like that of a river.

Public and private water-utility companies have become more interested in the Ocklawaha River (which is joined by the Silver River, fed by Silver Springs, one of the nation's largest springs) because water districts aren't passing out increases for pumping water from underground.

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