January 8, 2015
WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS ESTABLISHED TO EMPOWER USERS AND ENGAGE POLICYMAKERS
Tallahassee, Fla. – As lawmakers prepare to make historic changes to Florida’s water quality and quantity policy this Legislative Session, the Associated Industries of Florida’s H2O Coalition is today launching a brand new website and social media accounts to provide Floridians with the latest information on Tallahassee efforts to adopt a comprehensive plan for water in Florida.
“This session, leaders in Tallahassee are planning to make decisions on the future of Florida’s water supply that will impact the quality and quantity of our drinking water for many generations to come,” said Tom Feeney, president and CEO of AIF. “AIF is providing everyone with a stake in advocating for the availability of a safe supply of water with the opportunity to have their voices heard.”
On Tuesday, Florida Governor Rick Scott underscored the need for a more sensible water policy. In his inaugural address, Governor Scott said, “Investments in our infrastructure must be partnered with environmental improvements to ensure we keep Florida beautiful.”
The H2O Coalition’s website will feature news, policy statements, data, and tools for users to contact elected officials this upcoming legislative session. Users can access the H2O Coalition’s website starting today at FloridaH2OCoalition.org and follow updates via Twitter and Facebook.
Launched in 2014, the Florida H2O Coalition is comprised of stakeholders interested in water quantity and quality issues in Florida with the goal of making recommendations on state and federal water laws and rules impacting Florida. This upcoming Legislative Session, the coalition plans to advocate for the following key elements to be incorporated into legislation or funding directives to address Florida’s water quality and quantity issues:
- Sustainability: Through alternative water supply projects, provide adequate water for all existing and future uses by growing the water supply available for use by people, businesses, and the environment.
- Funding: Provide an annual and recurring source of state funding for alternative water supply projects as part of a regularly updated state plan.
- Innovation: Support and fund innovative solutions, such as water farming and using public-private partnerships to recharge the aquifer.
- Sound science: Water supply planning and solutions to water quality problems should be based on the best science for that particular site or problem.
- Incentives: Where water conservation is feasible, create incentives for water conservation that will allow people and businesses to use the methods most effective for them.
- Regional differences: Address unique regional needs.
Recent estimates from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection have revealed the need for Florida to use a water policy that promotes sustainability and accounts for Florida’s future growth. According to the estimates, Florida has a need for an additional 1.3 billion gallons of water per day by 2030 to accommodate a population of almost 24 million. Additionally, the three largest water management districts predict a shortfall of 250 million gallons per day in groundwater by 2035 in the area just south of Orlando, and a need for 34 percent more water in 2035 is predicted in Northeast Florida. Similarly, South Florida faces an anticipated increase of 25 percent in overall demand by 2030.
For more information about the Florida H2O Coalition, please visit the coalition online.