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Thursday, 23 July 2015 10:48

Water Update: Florida, California...

Written by  Compiled by Team SCPA

Posted July 23, 2015
Fresh Water Supply, cont'd.

'Nearly 97 percent of the world's water is saltwater or otherwise undrinkable. Another 2 percent is locked up in ice caps and glaciers. That leaves only one percent for all of humanity's needs -- agricultural, residential, industrial, and community needs.'
-- 'Gimme Green' Water Facts:

Now in a real pinch, California turns to water conservation -- replacing sod grass with 'drought tolerant' plants (read 'native plants') or fake, plastic grass!

Meanwhile, Florida continues to freely issue permits for more millions of gallons of water withdrawals, unabated. In the time of Rick Scott and the corrupt Florida legislature, the stage is still being set for Florida's coming water crisis. Remember Crisafulli's claim that 2015 was to be the year for his comprehensive water action? What a joke that was!

Water supply is a big issue, and Florida has yet to treat it seriously.

-- SCPA Editor



Editorial: The public interest

The Gainesville Sun, Editorial, May 18, 2015

When Administrative Law Judge E. Gary Early ruled in favor of a Sleepy Creek Lands’ plan to move some of its water rights to irrigate thousands of acres of pasturelands for thousands of head of cattle, he left opponents — and us — dumbfounded.

It wasn’t just his finding that was puzzling, but the logic and approach he used to reach it.

Sleepy Creek Lands, formerly Adena Springs Ranch, covers some 8,700 acres between Silver Springs and Fort McCoy. Canadian billionaire Frank Stronach is seeking to pump millions of gallons of water a day from the aquifer to irrigate his pastures to feed about 7,500 head of grass-fed cattle. As part of his plan, Stronach is seeking to move an existing permit for 1.4 million gallons a day on a sod farm at the southern edge of the Sleepy Creek tracts to the larger northern tract. Opponents maintain the pumping and the nutrients from the cattle waste would be detrimental to the aquifer, especially nearby Silver Springs. …

… The St. Johns River Water Management District board will have the final word on the permit Early has recommended it approve. We hope they will pause to consider what Early wouldn’t.

Note: Naturally, Rick Scott's St. Johns Water River Management District approved the water withdrawal permit. During the past year, the water management districts and the Dept. of Environmental Protection have been essentially stripped of environmental protectors. -- SCPA Editor.


Water district OKs permit for Sleepy Creek farm

The Gainesville Sun, by Dinah Voyles Pulver, GateHouse Media Services, July 14, 2015

PALATKA -- Despite emotional pleas from nearly two dozen speakers, the St. Johns River Water Management District’s governing board unanimously approved a water use permit Tuesday for Sleepy Creek Lands, a Marion County cattle farming operation.

The permit, once final, will allow the grass-fed beef ranch, owned by Canadian billionaire Frank Stronach, to use up to 1.46 million gallons of water a day.

Opponents argue the water use by the ranch, formerly known as Adena Springs Ranch, will damage the flow and quality of the water flowing from Silver Springs.

The permit has been the subject of debate and legal proceedings for a couple of years, but district officials said it combines two existing water-use permits and will not allow any increase in water use by the ranch.

The ranch will be required to shift about .96 million gallons of its water withdrawals further away from Silver Springs, which district scientists say could be beneficial to the springs. …



California turf rebate programs
…convert existing areas of turf grass to drought-tolerant plants ...


To save water, new California homes will have less lawn

Los Angeles Times, by Matt Stevens, July 15, 2015

The sprawling suburban lawn — a symbol of the good life in postwar California — moved a step closer Wednesday to being consigned to the history books.

The California Water Commission, responding to a fourth year of drought, approved sharp new limits on the amount of water that can be used on landscapes surrounding newly constructed buildings, such as houses, businesses and schools.

The revised ordinance will limit grass to about 25% of a home's combined front, back and side yards in all new construction.

Owners of existing homes do not completely escape the restrictions: Those who launch significant renovations of outdoor areas with more than 2,500 square feet of landscaping also face cutbacks.

Additionally, grass will be all but banned in landscapes of new commercial, industrial and institutional buildings.

“This is another giant leap forward in responsible water use,” said Esther Margulies, an instructor in the landscape architecture program at USC. “This means people will have to get to know their California-friendly plants. They're going to have to think more specifically about the open space around their houses.… There's no debate: The lawn will continue to shrink.” ...


How more lawn restrictions could remake the California landscape

Los Angeles Times, by Matt Stevens, July 15, 2015

First it was existing lawns, with Gov. Jerry Brown leading the way in urging Californians to rip out swaths of green to save vast amounts of water.

Now state regulators have their sights set on grass that hasn't even been planted.

The California Water Commission is scheduled to consider new rules Wednesday that would significantly slash the amount of water that can be used by landscapes surrounding newly built houses, businesses and schools.

Experts say that the changes, which if approved could take effect by Dec. 1, could signal a significant shift in how residents envision their perfect California home.

"It will be a far more interesting place than this monoculture of grass," said Esther Margulies, an instructor in the landscape architecture program at USC. "The attraction to subdivisions with pristine lawns has changed.… People are a lot more sophisticated and urbane … [and] much more likely to let go." ...



New NASA data show how the world is running out of water

The Washington Post, by Todd C. Frankel, June 16, 2015

The world’s largest underground aquifers – a source of fresh water for hundreds of millions of people — are being depleted at alarming rates, according to new NASA satellite data that provides the most detailed picture yet of vital water reserves hidden under the Earth’s surface.

Twenty-one of the world’s 37 largest aquifers — in locations from India and China to the United States and France — have passed their sustainability tipping points, meaning more water was removed than replaced during the decade-long study period, researchers announced Tuesday. Thirteen aquifers declined at rates that put them into the most troubled category. The researchers said this indicated a long-term problem that’s likely to worsen as reliance on aquifers grows.

Scientists had long suspected that humans were taxing the world’s underground water supply, but the NASA data was the first detailed assessment to demonstrate that major aquifers were indeed struggling to keep pace with demands from agriculture, growing populations, and industries such as mining. ...



Gimme Green

Gimme Green is a humorous look at the American obsession with the residential lawn and the effects it has on our environment, our wallets and our outlook on life. From the limitless subdivisions of Florida to sod farms in the arid southwest, Gimme Green peers behind the curtain of the $40-billion industry that fuels our nation's largest irrigated crop—the lawn. …

See the documentary film online, FREE:


Water Facts


Nearly 97 percent of the world's water is saltwater or otherwise undrinkable. Another 2 percent is locked up in ice caps and glaciers. That leaves only one percent for all of humanity's needs—agricultural, residential, industrial, and community needs.

Once groundwater is polluted, it can stay that way for several thousand years.

On average, Americans use 40 to 60 percent of their water on their landscapes.

In order to maintain all the lawns in America, it would take approximately 200 gallons per person per day.


Chemical Facts

Compiled by Team SCPA


Last modified on Thursday, 23 July 2015 11:43
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