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Friday, September 07, 2007

Water rights a murky business

Published September 7, 2007
Mark Farrell is helping write rules on the amount of groundwater that can be withdrawn in the Suwannee River Water Management District.

Continue to 2nd paragraph Sun file photo Kayakers on the Suwannee River He's also president of Water Resource Associates in Tampa, an engineering firm with services that include helping landowners sell water rights.

Members of Our Santa Fe, a group opposing water-bottling plants along the Santa Fe River, question whether the jobs pose a conflict of interest. They say Farrell's experience drafting technical reports that form the basis of water-use rules could benefit his other clients.

In Southwest Florida, the overpumping of groundwater in the 1990s caused water bodies to dry and salt water to intrude into the aquifer. The minimum-flow process tries to prevent these problems from happening by establishing minimum flows for springs and levels for rivers.

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