Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn open to selling water for industry, agriculture; may consider "toilet to tap" measures
Recent moves by Tampa Mayor Buckhorn and state Rep. Dana Young (R-FL) have some residents fearing privatization of the state's water is on the way.
Buckhorn and Young have a bill pending in legislature, HB 639, that would transfer public drinking water and reclaimed wastewater from being a public resource to being owned by the utility company.Maude Barlow: "Who's going to own the water itself?" (photo: Annika Timmins)
In a time of increased attention to water scarcity, part of Young's goal, to use reclaimed wastewater instead of potable drinking water for lawn sprinklers, appears laudable.
Yet, as The Tampa Tribune reports:
Critics say Buckhorn's proposal is the first step toward privatizing the state's water supply. They also say the proposal could turn the state's water cycle – from well to city supply and back – into a one-way street should utilities and other big users sell their wastewater instead of returning it to the environment.
"When that water is taken out of the aquifer, it could end up in China or Timbuktu or anywhere," said Charles Van Zant, a Republican state representative from Keystone Heights in Clay County. "Day by day by day this will destroy the Florida aquifer."