Water Grab in The Acreage

Do you know where your water comes from? 

Do you know what your county does behind the scenes so you can take a shower in the morning? Do you care how they might screw others to get what they want? As easily and cheaply as possible?

Water is a gold mine. How does that saying go- He who controls the food controls the people, he who controls the water controls the world...

Those of us on well water are acutely aware, respect, use with aplomb, and have some inkling where it comes from. Everyone out here in the Acreage is on a well. 40,000+ residents. 110 square miles of homes and farms. Every livestock operation, farm, nursery and home uses well water.

If we run dry they essentially kill our ability to survive and forcing us to buy into 'city water'.  I think that is their goal. The infrastructure has already been placed. Years ago when Scripps was in the running to buy Mecca Farms. While I agree with everyone's comments below,  this one has been sidestepped.

Do you realize how much money would be generated by the county if all of The Acreage, Jupiter Farms, Loxahatchee groves, Green Acres, White Fences and beyond had to go 'city water'?

And yes, all of the rural areas would go dry when our water goes to feeding the City. Does water know boundaries? Of course not. What does your water bill cost a month? Imagine what it would cost for the nurseries, horse farms, sanctuary's etc.. that would have to purchase?

The city of Palm Beach has created a contract, handed to our Indian Trails Water District Board,  here in the Acreage. A contract of this magnitude is  less then 5 pages and with no clear cut benefit to us. To take our water when they want, while expecting us to give them our water at the expense of ourselves, as well as pay for various items to keep the City in water. 

This is a bad deal. Its a water grab

Plain and simple.  Acreage residents wake up it will be a done deal if you don't speak out.
Two letters from two residents both very clear in what is transpiring. 

I would never stand before anyone and profess a working knowledge and understanding of how water flows, canals, discharge, telemetry, pumps and so forth. I leave that to those who do have that understanding such as Alan, Nestor, Mike, and Patricia to name a few. 

While I don’t wish to take valuable time away from them, I am compelled to offer a few of my own comments. 
I have read the proposed agreement many times and two words continue to resoundingly echo in my mind: water grab. This intent is intimated in the meandering, esoteric fluff that prefaced the agreement and becomes glaringly apparent throughout the agreement. 

In general, this agreement does not benefit Acreage residents. However, it does benefit WPB. WPB has suffered droughts in the past and will suffer droughts and water shortages in the future. Obviously, WBP has no viable present or future water management plan other than the one before us that allows them to “intercept” and “divert” water; in other words, “drain us dry.” 

WPB has overdeveloped and is overpopulated with no indications of limiting either. They are facing water demands that will only worsen with time, further development and population growth, and their need for water has already resulted in a blatant violation. In June 2011, faced with a severe drought and impending water shortages, WPB violated its permit with SFWMD by overdrawing water at the Grassy Waters well field. There is nothing in this agreement to prevent WPB from doing the same to the Acreage over and over and over, over a 30 year period. 

From WPB’s vantage point, what better way to solve their water issues than by entering into a binding 30 year agreement with ITID that would in effect permit WPB to take an unlimited amount of our water to sell to their customers, for profit, and at great expense to Acreage residents with no compensation in return and no provisions for terminating the agreement. Frankly, I am not interested in any form of compensation be it monetary in nature or replacement of our water with a reverse flow consisting of treated sewage water from WPB that we’re expected to water our gardens with, provide to our animals, cook with, drink, bathe in, etc. I don’t think any compensation can replace our good, clean water. If there were to be an agreement, the conditions within this document would need to be dramatically overhauled, and I would strongly urge a year to year contract, subject to exhaustive impact studies and reviews prior to every renewal. 

This agreement is driven by two issues: WPB’s desperate need for water, hence their “time is of the essence” mentality, and Acreage fear that what happened during TS Isaac will happen again. WPB’s need is real. Acreage fear can be allayed without an agreement with WPB. Isaac is an infrequently experienced weather anomaly that doesn’t require a 30 year agreement with WPB to mitigate future similar flood events. Simply put, ITID and SFWMD need to take appropriate and timely actions prior to rain makers. As it was, SFWMD ignored its own meteorologists who predicted that Isaac would be a rain maker and from what I have read, I suspect both ITID and SFWMD dropped the ball with respect to preventing and then managing the resulting flood waters. We would have flooded, I don’t think anyone would dispute that, but not to the degree and length of time had both entities worked together. One simple solution is for ITID to fight for and attain an increase in the peak discharge permit with SFWMD. Other solutions involve shoring up our canals and refurbishing our swales for better drainage and large retention areas within Acreage boundaries to pump flood waters to during flood events. There are still other solutions, the presentation and discussion of which are better left to those who are far more knowledgeable than I.

I would also like to point that if there is a drought in WPB, there is a high probability there are drought conditions in the Acreage. To allow WPB to draw water from us eases their drought but worsens ours. Conversely, if there are flood waters in WPB, there is a high probability there are flood waters in the Acreage. Do you seriously believe that WPB is going to allow the Acreage to discharge our flood waters into their already existing flooded streets, homes and businesses?
Finally, there sits before us five elected officials who hold the future of the entire Acreage by their very votes. Good clean abundant water is the essence of life for ourselves, our children, our animals. Water sustains us. It is liquid gold. Therefore, your votes should not be biased by your own personal needs and motivations or by political aspirations that lie outside the Acreage or within for that matter. Your vote should be based on what is in the best interest of all Acreage residents both present and future and that preserves and protects are most precious natural resource: water. This proposed 30 year agreement, if approved, will seal the fate of current residents and their children, many of whom choose to remain in the Acreage or move away only to return. What will face us and them? The chances are quite good that if this agreement, as written, is approved, that we will be left high and dry, a dust bowl with precious little of what we once had and took for granted and gave away with just three votes.

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