The only thing certain about the future of water consumption in Polk County is that doing
it the way we’ve done it for decades will be unsustainable, representatives of the
Regional Water Cooperative told Ancient Islands Sierra Thursday.
That means spending millions of dollars to study whether it’s really practical to pump
and treat brackish water from the lower reaches of the Floridan aquifer or whether
collecting stormwater at key points along the Peace Creek Canal would provide enough aquifer recharge to justify pumping additional water from the freshwater section of the aquifer.
County Commissioner George Lindsey III, the cooperative’s current chairman, gave a presentation along with Assistant County Manager Ryan Taylor and consultant Mary Thomas.
The major points of Thursday’s presentation were:
–The regional approach to water planning by local governments improves chances of getting adequate financial help to implement expensive projects.
–A major challenge is to hold the coalition board made up of elected officials together long term when elections change the makeup of some local governing bodies.
–Developers have been slow to adopt water-conservation programs, despite offers of subsidies to implement better practices in new subdivision.
–The price customers should expect to pay triple what they pay now for potable water.
–Conservation remains a priority because it costs the less to implement.
–It’s still unknown how practical some of the proposals are in either delivering adequate supplies and in being able to be implemented affordably.
Any final proposal will get an outside professional review.