Protecting our Water —Ostensibly

Juniper Springs, Ocala Nat'l Forest

Don’t you love it when the legislators you elected to represent your best interests pass a law that ostensibly protects, but actually undermines your public resource? Water, everybody’s most basic need. Just ask the people of Flint, Michigan.

Here in Florida, The Water Resources Protection Act passed in 1973, purportedly to protect surface and groundwater. It has, unfortunately, been inconsistently enforced. It is, after all, purposely vague and full of loopholes. No problem. This week, the Florida legislature passed the Florida Springs and Aquifer Protection Act. Or is it a problem?
The law was written by lobbyists working for Associated Industries of Florida. Who are these industries? You can bet they are the dairy and poultry farmers, as well as urban developers, the biggest users, abusers, and contributors to deteriorating water quality. Are they really interested in protecting water quality? Would they have supported or written a law that cost them in user fees, taxes on fertilizer use, or better management of both human and animal wastewater?

Of course not. Instead they wrote and lobbied for a law with no teeth for enforcement, a law that ostensibly protects. I looked up synonyms for ostensibly: alleged, supposedly, apparently, pretended, purported, seemingly, outwardly appearing, superficial.

I enjoy a good steak or chicken dinner and I live in a housing development. I don’t enact laws. But I vote. Do you? There are numerous online sites to help you find your representatives who voted for the law. You can’t eliminate the lobbyists, but you can do something about the legislators who voted the bill into law. Tell them you care about water. Tell them by voting them out of office.

Silenced Springs by Robert L. Knight is available at Florida Springs Institute.org or Amazon.com. The book addresses degradation of Florida waters and its causes.

2 responses to “Protecting our Water —Ostensibly

  1. This article is making me thirsty!!

  2. I’m so glad you wrote this, Bonnie. Now send it to the newspapers!!!

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