The SFWMD held a final EAA Reservoir public hearing on December 21, 2017 in West Palm. The good news is that cost projections have been attached to each model AND the District included benefits to Florida Bay. Both of these critical components were missing from earlier presentations, causing an out-cry from anyone keeping a close eye on the reservoir progress.
The nitty gritty of the progress can be studied in the latest EAA Reservoir Feasibility Study . The models have been drawn with scientific accuracy, and all models demonstrate a considerable advantage to all affected estuaries. But, let's dig deeper into what is happening here.
Not Good Enough
When viewing the options presented by the District, it is impossible to determine whether we are getting the best possible reservoir scenario because we are only being presented with one set of modelling results. All models have been run, considering the use of only currently available state owned parcels.
SB10 (Senate Bill 10) clearly states that "optimal configuration" should be considered during planning and that land swaps, sale, and leases should be considered when determining the best case scenario. This step is being overlooked.
Without these comparisons, how can the public, the legislators, or even the SFWMD determine if the models that are being presented are optimal? We have nothing to compare them to. How can anyone know what the potential for maximum reservoir function is if we are taking a myopic view of how to optimize the intent of the reservoir project?
The District is trying to be transparent and engaged with the public by holding public meetings about the reservoir. In fact, they are doing a very good job at fueling a fire of fear and mistrust across all sectors.
During the latest public hearing, the environmentalists left feeling duped, angry, frustrated and paranoid. The modelling process is incomplete without looking at all possible scenarios.
The hearty Glades Lives Matter contingent representing the EAA farming communities left feeling duped, angry, frustrated and paranoid. For this group, the reservoir represents an impending land grab.
The District is unable or unwilling to give the environmentalists what they want and they are unable or unwilling to quell the fears of the farmers by reassuring them that a land grab is not an option.
The trend in water management appears to be on its usual course.
Frustrated by this entire unfolding of events? It would be worth it to give Senate President Joe Negron a call at 954-424-6674 or shoot him and email to tell him that everyone needs more information before moving forward on the EAA Reservoir.