While South Florida’s population continues to grow, its water resources are growing more limited. The Biscayne Aquifer, the region’s traditional water supply, will be unable to meet the needs of a growing urban community. The demand for water continues to increase while water resource availability is on a decline.
Broward County recognizes that we must all partner together — businesses, municipalities and residents — to find regional solutions to our water supply issues. Together, we can discuss the difficult topics, how we can work together toward necessary solutions and the role we can all play in protecting the region’s water supplies.
In December 2007, Broward County hosted the first of several events that brought together various sectors to discuss regional water solutions. Water conservation, alternative water supplies, regional water resource policies and implications for future growth and development were all on the agenda.
The event was designed to bring together decision makers from all sectors of our community to discuss the water challenges facing Broward and to stimulate dialog regarding solutions that work. Ultimately, the program will create opportunities for action and cooperative partnerships.
Event sponsors included the de la Parte & Gilbert, P.A., the South Florida Water Management District, Government Services Groups, Inc., Poseidon Resources Corporation, the Central Broward Water Control District, and MWH Engineering.
Broward County Mayor Lois Wexler opened the discussion by framing the issues we face and noting that we face these issues together. “We must find solutions,” she pointed out, “because we must protect our quality of life and our economic security.”
Frances Cairncross, the former environmental editor for the Economist magazine and author of two influential books on the environment and business, talked about conservation and the difference that it can make.
Following the morning keynote speech, four panels of noted experts and government leaders explored critical areas that have real implications for managing our water resources:
South Florida’s Challenges in Water Management
Water Conservation Strategies
Alternative Water Supplies, Options, and Costs
Recently Adopted State Legal Requirements for Development and Economic Growth
The day ended with a presentation by Cynthia Barnett, environmental editor for Florida Trend magazine, and author of Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S. She challenged participants to think through the alternatives. She talked about the need for conservation and that, while it is not the entire answer, it’s something we must do better. To elected officials she said, “People are paying attention; what do you want to say to them?”
Top of Page
To bring the policymakers, the private sector [and] the experts in the field together is of critical importance.
– Lois Wexler, Broward County Commissioner, District 5
The best way to develop solutions is for people to work together.
– Ed de la Parte, sponsor and Managing Partner of de la Parte & Gilbert, P.A.
I am really looking to our locally elected officials.
– Shannon Estenoz, Vice-Chair,
South Florida Water Management District Governing Board
This room is loaded with people willing to work toward making changes.
– Kristin Jacobs, Commissioner, Broward County, District 2