The Polk County Water Cooperative needs to stick together if they want continued funding and want to have a sustainable water supply project, Southwest Florida Water Management District officials told board members Wednesday.
The presentation is in response to some discussions by member governments to pursue alternative water supply projects on their own rather than joining in the countywide plan to develop wellfields, pipelines and treatment facilities to drill wells hundreds and thousands of feet into the ground to acquire water to treat for future water supply and to dispose of the contaminants from the process.
It was significant that some of the member cities, such as Davenport and Haines City, who have proposed the Lone Ranger approach, were not present.
Swiftmud officials made it clear that anyone who planned to go it alone would not qualify for agency funding.
If they are planning to spend money to seek water from the Lower Floridan Aquifer, for which there are currently no water restrictions on withdrawals, their permit applications may be approved.
Nevertheless, it was also clear that the cost will be large. It would cost an estimated $60 million to develop even a modest amount of water from these alternative sources.
Meanwhile, PRWC board members voted to proceed with their deep well projects.
Stay tuned for the future cost analyses.