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There’s a new documentary that will be airing on public television this summer.  Called Liquid Assets, the show will focus on water in America–and the aging infrastructure that threatens our health and environment.

We’ve taken water for granted in our country.  Liquid Assetswill explore the history of water and wastewater practices, and expose our underground systems with 3-D and dynamic animation.

Our crumbling pipelines and treatment facilities are estimated to cost a whopping $390 billion to bring up to par.  Liquid Assets will be an integral part of educating our citizens about this critical problem.

Check out the website for more information and to see a preview of the documentary at:


As I’ve said before, we’re not running out of water–just running out of cheap water. 

In Florida, the drought combined with population growth is putting a strain on the water supply from existing sources. 

Typically, well water is the least expensive to treat, and it’s the preferred source for communities where it’s available. Fresh surface waters, such as lakes and some rivers line up next on the cost scale.  And when the water is brackish or salty the price starts to soar.

The water war pitting north Florida against central Florida is just a result of everyone vying for the lowest cost alternative.  But since this debate has been in the news, I’ve heard several people say that using sea water would be the best bet.

There’s plenty of it–that’s true.  But the cost of treatment is astronomical.  And there’s a couple other things to consider along with the rising water bill. 

The process for treating sea water uses huge amounts of energy.  Not good if we’re all supposed to be watching our carbon footprints.

And when you take salt out of the water it has to go somewhere.  The concentrated brine solution is considered a pollutant.  So finding a discharge location can be a challenge.

Just something to think about before everyone jumps on the sea water bandwagon.

It’s amazing to me to see how the press puts pressure on local officials to promote or oppose water issues.  The politicians in the small city I work for admirably resisted pressure from neighboring communities that had already passed a resolution opposing the removal of water from the St. Johns River for use in central Florida. 

I say admirably because they chose to have a workshop with both the St. Johns Riverkeeper and the St. Johns River Water Management District to get factual information on how the proposed water use would affect their community.

Personally, I have my own concerns about the issue.  Especially since the City will be spending millions to meet effluent nitrogen limits for wastewater discharges–and the effect of siphoning water from the river really isn’t known. 

But what bothers me is the “headline news” in the local paper implying our community is a holdout, and somehow in the wrong because our officials haven’t just jumped on the bandwagon.  This kind of media pressure can force unwise decisions. 

I’m sure our commissioners will be passing a resolution, but at least it will be after hearing both sides of the issue from those who’ve been working on it and have the most relevant information.  I just wonder how many times media “water pressure” forces communities to take a position on an issue before they’re ready.  And to their detriment.

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