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Governor Charlie Crist (R) Recommends Full Funding for Alternative Water Supply Projects

February 4, 2008

Associated Industries of Florida, a member of the Florida Water Alliance, congratulates Governor Crist for his support of alternative water projects in his recommended budget for 2008-9.  Approximately three weeks ago, AIF along with 16 other business associations unveiled an Economic Stimulus Package before members of the House Policy and Budget Council as a way to give legislators some ideas for kick-starting Florida’s economy.  One of the main components of this stimulus package is funding for alternative water supply programs.  The stability of Florida’s business climate and the success of our companies is directly tied the availability of potable water.  Full funding of water projects is integral to meeting concurrency requirements and will ensure that Florida’s growth economy continues to succeed. 


~ Governor recommends full funding to support development of alternative water supplies ~

Tallahassee, Fla. – The Florida Water Alliance Coalition applauds Governor Charlie Crist for his recommendation today to restore full funding for alternative water supply projects to help meet Florida’s growing population demands. The Alliance, a diverse group of members including the environmental community, local governments, water management districts, state agencies and Florida’s major business associations, urges legislators to support the Governor’s efforts to place a renewed emphasis on the alternative water supply program.

“With every passing year, Florida’s ever-increasing population faces the likelihood of water rationing and decreased useable water supplies,” said Doug Mann, Chair of the Florida Water Alliance. “In 2005, the Florida Legislature recognized funding was needed to address the enormous demand for water in Florida and the urgency of safeguarding and creating future supplies. Since that time the funding levels have been threatened.  This Alliance urges lawmakers to follow the good lead from the Governor to continue along this path of full funding.”

The Florida Water Alliance Coalition recognized early on that this state will require 26% more gallons of fresh water per day by the year 2020.  During a 2007 Special Session, proposed legislation passed cutting the funds for alternative water supplies and endangered the creation of vital new water supplies that would sustain Florida’s future.

“Governor Crist is a great ally in this enormous challenge to protect and expand Florida’s usable water supply,” said Keyna Cory, chief lobbyist for Associated Industries of Florida. “Florida must plan for the future by providing the resources now to develop alternative water sources for our growing state.  The budget is indeed tight this year, but water represents our very livelihood.”

Water projects currently underway as a result of previous alternative water supply funds include the development of:

  • Reclaimed water projects;
  • Desalination efforts;
  • Reused water for watering lawns/golf courses; and
  • Rain water reservoirs.

According to the Department of Environmental Protection through this fund, the state has invested $160 million, with a collective match by the Water Management District of $132 million and local sponsor match of $1.6 billion.  When these projects get underway 725 million gallons of “new” water will be created per day.

“There is no denying the urgency to begin today preparing to meet Floridian’s needs for water in the future,” said Eric Draper of Florida Audubon.  “In addition to a growing population, this state continues to face periods of severe drought.  It is more important than ever for elected leaders to support forward thinking water policy and the funding commitment that goes with it.”


Florida Water Alliance Members

Duda & Sons
American Water Works Association
Association of Florida Community Developers
Associated Industries of Florida
Audubon Society
Broward County
CH2M Hill
City of Cape Coral
City of Lakeland
Florida Association of Counties
Florida Chamber of Commerce
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Florida Farm Bureau
Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association
Florida Home Builders Association
Florida League of Cities
Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association
Florida Stormwater Association
Hillsborough County
Lee County
Miami-Dade County
North Florida Growers Exchange
Palm Beach County
Peace River/Mansaota Regional Water Supply Authority
Polk County
Pinellas County
Northwest Florida Water Management District
Sarasota County
Sierra Club
South Florida Water Management District
St. Johns Water Management District
The Nature Conservancy
Withlacoochee Regional Water Supply Authority