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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Utilities, Mormons battle for reservoir

Published August 4, 2009 - Florida Today
A legal fight over whether Central Florida utilities must pay Deseret Ranches millions of dollars in fees for drinking water from Taylor Creek Reservoir could stall plans to tap the manmade lake to fuel growth and ease stress on groundwater, wetlands and springs.

The district wants a judge to clarify that it has the right to flow and store water in Taylor Creek Reservoir, which sits on Deseret's land, for public drinking water. The district is suing to bring more certainty for the utilities involved in the project, which the district has nudged for years to use more of the St. Johns instead of more groundwater.

The utilities have been in discussions with Deseret for years about building a treatment plant to pull more water from the reservoir and the St. Johns River, which feeds it. Deseret's demand makes cities vying for drinking water unsure what it will cost.

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