League of Cities takes aim at Florida crisis in water quality and supply

FL - League of Cities takes aim at Florida crisis in water quality

Florida’s water needs this decade will grow by 20 percent and remediation of drinking water infrastructure will cost $18 billion, making water resources a top legislative priority for the Florida League of Cities, an advocacy organization representing more than 400 cities and towns.

Rebecca O’Hara, the league’s deputy general counsel, told reporters this week that Florida faces a “water quality crisis and water supply deficiencies” that must be addressed now to meet future water needs for human consumption, wastewater treatment, agriculture and environmental sustainability.

“This need is gigantic,” O’Hara said, calling for “a comprehensive and need-based assessment” of Florida’s water needs and a plan to secure funding to improve quality and expand capacity at the state, regional and local levels.

She said the state’s approach to water management is too often political and based on “crisis management” rather than being based on identified needs, objective criteria and intergovernmental partnerships and coordination.

O’Hara cited reports by the American Society of Civil Engineers that gave Florida a “C” grade for potable water infrastructure and estimated the cost of improvements and expansion at $18 billion.

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