A St. Johns "Riverkeeper" named Dan recently wrote a letter to my local liberal newspaper/fishwrap/catbox liner decrying the decision which allowed the citizens of Seminole County, Florida to withdraw an additional 5.5 million gallons per day. He claimed that "siphoning" (ya gotta love the imagery!) that much water would have "catastrophic results on the river's bio-diversity" and would kill clams and fish. That's a false claim to begin with, but Dan didn't display a scintilla of care that HUMAN BEINGS actually need that water. That's at the very heart of NE Florida's "water wars" over the St. Johns River and in my opinion drives much of the radical enviro movement. These radicals tend not to like human beings.
I'd love to know your opinions on the matter since my dogs just look at me funny, my wife thinks I'm kinda funny, and my daughter couldn't care either way! :-)
This was my reply to radical Dan:
This is an issue of basic humanity and even simpler math. Once you understand those basics, you'll know why you don't need the "results of the National Institutes of Health study" to allow Seminole county (the upstream source of the St. Johns River) to use water that comes from Seminole County!
Let's discuss basic humanity, which sadly seems in short supply. Are you prepared to allow your neighbors a veto power over YOUR water usage? Imagine if they had some sort of valve that they could turn off once they peeped at your meter. They could get together out in the street and say, "we think ole Dan and family have used enough water for the week. It's time to turn it off and let him appeal."
Now it's time for some simple math. Dan have you ever stopped to wonder just how much St. Johns River fresh water flows into the Atlantic Ocean in just one hour? All you have to do is stand at the base of the Buckman Bridge or on one of the high dunes ("bluffs") at the end of Monument Rd. to get a feel for the staggering flow of fresh water in just 5 minutes! Get your calculator...ready?
My numbers may be off by as much as 1o% because I'm eyeballing it, but this'll give you an idea of my point. An Olympic competition swimming pool is 50 meters (165 ft.) long, 25 meters (83 ft.) wide, and 8 feet deep. Multiply 165 x 83 x 8 = 109,560 cubic feet. There's approximately 7 gallons of water per cubic foot so you end up with 766,920 gallons per Michael Phelp's pool. Seminole County has been granted permission to use 5.5 million gallons/day.
That's roughly equivalent to 7.2 of those swimming pools full of water! This is the volume of water Seminole County has been given.
I've stood at Blount Island near the Dames Point Bridge and watched the seagulls and pelicans float by at 6-9 mph, and wondered at the STUPENDOUS amount of fresh water that flows into the world's 2nd largest body of salt water. How many of those swimming pools full of water flow into the Atlantic in one minute? We can only guess, but I think you'd be safe in guessing at least 20. Seminole County has been granted a drop of water from a GD barrell, and yet you and the other "Riverkeepers" would begrudge them that drop! It's tempting to blame the government schools for this level of abject stupidity, but all that's required is a $5 calculator.
Why did I take the time to point all of this out?
Increasingly I see our society getting away from the Founding Principles of freedom, minimal interference in the affairs of your neighbor, plain old Christian charity & tolerence, and I see us turning mean and petty with each other. This fight over a mere drop in a barrel of fresh water--the one thing we CANNOT live without--is the starkest example to date of mass hysteria and man's inhumanity towards his fellow man here in North Florida. If you are one of those who would begrudge your fellow human being fresh water given what you now know, SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!