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Lawmakers Prioritize Water As Legislative Session Starts

The Indian River Lagoon. Photo courtesy Brevard County
The Indian River Lagoon. Photo courtesy Brevard County

Lawmakers are poised to approve a major water bill as early as this week.

The bill to help Florida’s troubled waterways failed last year when the Legislature collapsed.

The bill includes protections for Florida's springs, Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades.

But Eric Draper of Audubon of Florida says it doesn't go as far as what many imagined two years ago when central Florida Sen. David Simmons began work on a water bill.

"There was an expectation that the policies were going to be tougher on water pollution and certainly on causing water conservation to reduce the amount of groundwater that's being withdrawn."

The measure also creates a partnership among the three water management districts that converge in central Florida, where the drinking water is projected to run out within decades.

The House and Senate both are expected to take up the bill this week.

Amy Green covered the environment for WMFE until 2023. Her work included the 2020 podcast DRAINED.