Monday, February 18, 2008
The St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) has announced that it is recommending approval of a permit by Seminole County to take up to 5.5 million gallons of water a day (mgd) from the St. Johns River at its Yankee Lake facility primarily for irrigation uses.
This comes right on the heels of the SJRWMD announcing that it will spend nearly $2 million of our taxpayer dollars to study the potential impacts of the withdrawal proposals over the next 2 years. We certainly support further studies before any withdrawal decisions are made. However, the District's decision to recommend approval of the Yankee Lake project permit before the study has even begun gives the impression that the study is just window-dressing for a done deal.
The Yankee Lake permit will be voted on by the SJRWMD Governing Board at their next meeting in Palatka on March 11th. Even though the SJRWMD staff is recommending approval, the Governing Board can vote to deny the permit application. Write or e-mail the Governing Board members and let them know what you think about this permit and the water withdrawal proposals in general.
If you can, try to attend the meeting on March 11th, as well. We need to show up in force and let the Governing Board members know that they have an obligation to protect our St. Johns River and our water resources.
For contact information for the Governing Board, visit the Riverkeeper website and click on the image in the Current News section or go directly to http://www.stjohnsriverkeeper.org/thirstthreatens.asp.