Alachua County Environmental Protection Director Addresses Lake Levels, Sinkholes and Water Usage
Lochloosa Lake in Alachua County.
Despite recent rainfall, Florida is still in desperate need of water to help fill area lakes and more importantly the Floridan aquifer.
Many lake residents are blaming over-pumping of the aquifer by agriculture, utilities and other businesses for the low water levels in area lakes around Keystone Heights. Business owners around Orange and Lochloosa lakes blame low water levels on not only the lack of rainfall, but on a large sinkhole in Orange Lake.
Whether or not to “stop up” the sinkhole has been a debate in both Alachua and Marion Counties for at least 60 years. Marion County commissioners came up with a plan to try and stop the outflow of water from the lake a few years ago, but water managers nixed the idea.
Alachua County commissioners were not supportive because of the cost for the proposed project.
Alachua County’s Director of Environmental Protection, Chris Bird, talked with WUFT News about lake levels, sinkholes and water usage overall.
More Stories in Environment
The Florida Champion Tree Register recognizes the largest tree in the state of each noninvasive species. It’s the next step of recognition up from heritage tree status, like that of Bert, the bluff oak that has affected plans for the Innovation Nexus Building at UF.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released a seasonal hurricane forecast. WUFT Meteorologist Marithza Calderon says it’s no surprise that they say we could be in for another inactive season.
The once vilified BP is now being commended for its efforts in helping to attract visitors back to the Gulf Coast. The oil company is spending more than $230 million in its efforts.
Described as one of the worst diseases to ever hit Florida orange groves, citrus greening is costing the state’s general fund $5.75 million. If the disease is not curbed it could be detrimental to Florida’s agriculture and economy.
Fifty-six people from Florida, Georgia and Alabama unanimously approved of a new sustainable water management plan. They issued their recommendations even as Florida sues Georgia, with Florida’s government arguing that too much water is being siphoned off upstream.