Ideas Bloom at Drought Summit

water sprinkler
TAMPA (2009-05-05) -

The water shortage brought together people as diverse as the heads of Swiftmud and the state climatologist. Their goal is to increase public awareness of the drought. Gerald Seeber is executive director of Tampa Bay Water.

"We hope through our efforts today to educate policymakers on the wisdom of enacting policy at a local level," says Seeber, "whether it be drought surcharges or land use changes that help prepare the region for the next drought that Tampa Bay will experience."

St. Petersburg has already approved a plan to increase fees on high water users. The idea will be taken up later this month by Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas County commissioners, as well as Tampa. Seeber says "land use changes" include taking water use into consideration when new developments are approved. That includes installing pipes for reclaimed water hookups and Florida-friendly landscaping, such as drought-tolerant xeriscaping.

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