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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