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Friday, May 30, 2008

Misdiagnosing Peace River flow restoration?

Published 5/30/2008 (Opinion)
The Tampa Tribune report today on the efforts to restore flow in the Upper Peace River that it would take a reduction of something like 80 percent of water use here to allow the aquifer to recover enough to restore river flow, according to Swiftmud officials.

This argument revolves around whether Kissengen Spring can be made to flow again. The spring south of Bartow, quit flowing in 1950. It was the first time a second-magnitude Florida spring had ceased flowing. This foreshadowed all of the water problems and issues that have occurred since.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hopeful citizens continue to appeal for the recovery of Kissengen Springs. The spring's artesian waters were captured in the early 1950's before water law mandated recovery of flows and levels. Efforts are being made but some feel more is needed.

"Recovery of aquifer levels to artesian conditions may take a while, but with sufficient public support and effective long-term water management strategies in the "springshed", artesian flow can be restored and the Peace River ecosystem can be restored to health. In fact, recovery is required by Florida Statutes when minimum river flows and aquifer levels are not met." (Voice of the Spring). The problem seems that water managers are focusing on too many project areas and their efforts are diffuse, without a clear end-point. If the purpose of the many projects was pin-pointed to recovery of lost artesian waters, their efforts would make sense. Seems the Mission Purpose is lost in the quagmire of meeting special interests demands while losing sight of the big picture. The big picture includes the facts that we get about 50" rainfall per year, and by law a portion of that should return to the ground for recovery of the Most Impacted Areas, i.e., the Upper Peace River's Minimum Flows and Levels. If we only received 10" per year rainfall, the expectations might be different, and recovery management might be impossible. Therefore it seems the missing link musst be the voice of the people's representatives who direct the Water Manager's programs. If they are silent, nothing will change. If the people are silent, the changes will be in favor of those who can capture the rainfall without reservations for the injured aquifers under the Peace River. Following this course of business as usual it becoomes more unlikely we will ever see the potential of America the Beautiful exhibited in the heritage of flowing springs and related health of the Peace River. Given the blessings of ample rainfall, clear Federal and State Laws directing protection, recovery, and conservation, the only thing lacking is focus of vision, an informed citizenry, and initiative by Leadership. It is up to Polk to ask for the protection of its natural heritage, while the time is here. Ignorance and neglect can be transformed into knowledge and nurture. We will see it when we believe it!