Down Upon the Suwannee: Part 2

The historic Suwannee River is where the famous water way is facing historic challenges. Drought, pollution, and erosion have all taken a toll on the waterway, but the biggest challenge may come from south Florida.

Svenn Lindskold has lived on the Suwannee River for a decade, and he's spent much of that time fighting for the conservation of what he calls the real Florida. Pollution from farming, mining and development has hurt this historic waterway.

"That problem, although it's being dealt with or at least measures are begun to deal with it there's no results yet. There's no estimates of any results the nitrate problem continues to get worse," says Svenn.

Water management officials have hard numbers on the pollution. They monitor and test water quality throughout the entire river basin.

"From the water quality perspective overall things are good, we do have some problems with elevated nutrients in our springs and rivers but we have some programs in place to address these."

Right now water levels in the Suwannee are good, but just go back a few years, and low water levels due to drought, concentrated pollutants and exaggerated the problem.

"Left springs going dry, becoming dead lagoons. The springs had great concentrations of algae growing in them, some of them were really yucky and foul."

The problem of foul springs may be small beans next to this. This is a 36-page report from the Council of 100. This council composed of Florida business leaders is advocating what they call water transfer; from water rich areas to water poor areas.

"It's hard to guess exactly what the consequences would be, so why face it; it's not necessary."

For now, the Council of 100 report is not state policy, but the council does have clout in the capitol. These cool waters will be a hot issue in the months to come.


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