Recently, there has been an effort from the Orlando area to tap into the St. Johns River and use the water. Seminole County is approaching the sustainable limits of its main source of water, the Floridan Aquifer. This is their second attempt at gaining access to the St. Johns River since 2008. Since their first effort, Central Florida has formed a group called the Central Florida Water Initiative (CFWI), whose goal is to find alternative water sources and reclaim water for sustainable practices among the region, as well as handle the growing demand for water.

Their latest plan is called the “Draft Regional Water Supply Plan” and proposes to withdraw more than 150 million gallons of water daily from the St. Johns River. This extraction of water would cost about $1.5 billion. A second plan from the St. Johns River Water Management District proposes a plan for the counties they oversee to take more than 125 million gallons of water daily and tap into the main tributary, the Ocklawaha River. The St. Johns Riverkeeper is on the prowl when it comes to protecting the sanctity and beauty of the St. Johns River. They believe the CFWI should focus their efforts on water conservancy and natural measures to save water in their own district before trying to take water from the beloved St. Johns.

This movement to extrapolate water, according to the St. Johns Riverkeeper, will only increase pollution problems, increase algal blooms, reduce the river’s flow and salinity levels. All of this will cause a disruption in the natural ecosystem, negatively impacting the wildlife of not only on the river, but also along its tributaries.

All we can say is thanks Disney!
There will be a St. Johns River Water Supply Plan public meeting January 30 from 5-7 p.m. at the St. Johns County Administration Building County Auditorium, 500 San Sebastian View, St. Augustine, FL 32084

Information on this topic can be found here from our local Riverkeeper.