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Lawmakers Prioritize Water As Legislative Session Starts

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tougher on water pollution and certainly on causing water conservation to reduce the amount of groundwater that’s being withdrawn.”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.

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Amy Green

About Amy Green

Reporter and Producer

Amy Green covers the environment and climate change at WMFE News. She is an award-winning journalist and author whose extensive reporting on the Everglades is featured in the book MOVING WATER, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, and podcast DRAINED, available wherever you get your podcasts. Amy’s ... Read Full Bio »