There are rule’s on Florida’s books to protect out water.
Water Management Districts in Florida Statutes Chapter 373- Water Resources 40A-E Rules for the individual Districts – 373.042 Minimum flows and Levels Chapter 403 Environmental Control
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Florida Administrative Code
Chapter 62-302 (Water Quality Standards)
Chapter 62-303 (Identification of Impaired Surface Waters)
Environmental Groups have had Florida’s Government in EPA Federal Administrative Hearings since 1994 for non-compliance with the Federal Clean Water Act.
The numeric nutrient criteria in paragraph 62-302.530 (47)(b), F.A.C. States that “In no case shall nutrient concentrations of a body of water be altered so as to cause an imbalance in natural populations of aquatic flora or fauna.”
FLORIDA WATERSHED RESTORATION ACT (fwra), CHAPTER 403.067, FLORIDA STATUTES (F.S.)
The action Plan is completely voluntary, three staff are basically going door to door offering 20/80 cost share for fertilization and low volume irrigation equipment for farmers willing to try it.Cities and counties are being offered cost share for watershed restoration projects.
There is no time frame. I was warned it will take a long time. I need to lower my expectations.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has a plan to clean up our rivers and lakes that are impaired.
There are 11 meetings leading up to the Santa Fe River Basin Management Plan adoption. The plan is to retrofit old circle pivot irrigation equipment with low volume heads and refrigeration equipment. $9000,000,000 were allocated to do this project.
I asked the FDEP, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Suwannee River Water Management District if there was any date or studies to support that these upgrades would reduce the nutrient load. I did not get an answer. I have had an attorney put in a written request for this information.
Now the FDEP is expanding this same plan to the Middle and Lower Suwannee. There are approx. 66,005,375 pounds of nitrogen applied annually in the MIddle Suwannee and approx. 24,381,502 pounds applied in the Lower Suwannee region. There is an expectation of a 50 pound per acre reduction in nitrogen from inorganic fertilizers with the proposed fertigation retrofit method but the FDEP was not able to supply me with the study that shows where this nyumber was obtained. It may just be a guess.
I attended the Suwannee River Basin Management Action Plan Kickoff and asked this question:
How are voluntary best management practices going to restore these habitats when thousands of acres a month are converting from silvaculture to irrigated row crop agriculture? Asked by Annette at the Suwannee BMAP Meeting on November 1, 2012