Conservationists hold clean-water event in Orlando 

Groups urge politicians to sign onto Clean Water Declaration Campaign

click to enlarge Marjorie Holt and Linda Stewart - PHOTO BY SHANNON SCHEIDELL
  • Photo by Shannon Scheidell
  • Marjorie Holt and Linda Stewart

Conservationists say the glass is half empty …

On Jan. 22, surrounded by swans and against the backdrop of Lake Eola in downtown Orlando, a group of 30 or so conservationists gathered to listen to state Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, and Florida Rep. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, discuss their third draft of the Florida Springs and Aquifer Protection Act, a bill they plan to introduce during the 2014 legislative session in Tallahassee. The goal of the bill, which has been opposed by municipal water managers in the past because they say it could interfere with protections already in place for the state’s springs, is to restore the state’s waterways and protect them from pollution and overuse.

The event was part of the Clean Water Declaration Campaign, an initiative to gather 100,000 signatures – including those of legislators and the governor – on a petition in support of water conservation. Kickoff events to introduce the petition were held in 16 cities around the state, including in Orlando.

The average Floridian uses about 124 gallons per day, and unrestrained pumping of water from the Floridan Aquifer – the main source of water for Orlando and other Central Florida municipalities – has greatly reduced our supply. There is a limited amount of water available for pumping in the aquifer now, and Orlando’s demand is set to exceed the aquifer’s supply this year.

Technically, this is a quiet year for voters in Florida, but the Florida Water and Land Legacy Amendment will appear as Amendment 1 on the ballot. The measure would allocate 1 percent of the state’s budget to protect land and water and to ensure that there’s enough clean water for Floridians to drink. Chuck O’Neal, the natural resources committee chair of the League of Women Voters of Florida, says it would cost $378 million a year over the next 10 years to upgrade the state’s water infrastructure and water treatment plants.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

May 12, 2021

View more issues


© 2021 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation