We play in it, clean with it, cook with it, admire it, and depend on it for survival. We're talking about water and the delicate relationship our state has with this natural resource. This week we examine the current water crisis. Joshua Stewart Visits the Tampa Bay Seawater Desalination Plant. Host Irene Maher interviews the author of "Mirage, Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S." We find out more about the upcoming Drought Summit in Tampa, and hear from area farmers about alternative ways to grow crops. Irene meets with a local gardening expert to learn tips for dealing with new water restrictions. Larry Elliston introduces us to a group of people who take water conservation to the next level.
After three years of below-average rainfall, the rivers are low and the reservoir is empty. Water managers and local governments have imposed the tightest water-use restrictions ever. But out West, communities have been dealing with drought for decades. What can we learn from them? We'll talk about some of the best ways those areas are planning for - and withstanding - drought conditions.
Irene Maher sits down with Robyn Felix, from the Southwest Water Management District, to talk about the upcoming Regional Water Shortage Management Workshop, also known as the "Drought Summit." The workshop is being held at the Tampa Convention Center on May 5.
Florida Matters asks area residents how they're coping with the water restrictions.
Listen to Dave Moore describe the current water-use restrictions imposed by Swiftmud and why the district decided not to impose them in February when they were first considered. (2:20)
Listen to Amy Klabunde describe the types of restrictions that are put in place when the reservoirs in Aurora's water system get low. (0:42)
Listen to Moore explain how Florida farmers are encouraged to manage their water use through "drought credits." (1:08)
Listen to Marsha Prillwitz talk about surveys that show Californians are willing to conserve water when asked to do so. (1:39)
The idea behind our discussion this week was to find out what we can learn about water and drought planning from other communities. But listen to Prillwitz note how impressed she is with how the Bay area is weathering the drought. (1:57)
Listen to Jerry Seeber explain how Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties have been weaned from only using groundwater sources. (1:32)
Listen to Seeber detail why using reclaimed water in drinking supplies is so expensive. (1:09)
Listen to Seeber urge residents to continue their water-conservation efforts. He also says the Tampa Bay water system is more diversified than other places in the country. (2:04)
Tuesday at 6:30 PM | Sunday at 7:30 AM on WUSF 89.7
Monday at 10:00 PM on WSMR 89.1
Carson Cooper is a familiar voice. He has become a favorite of WUSF listeners as the local host of NPR's "Morning Edition" on WUSF 89.7 since he took the job in 2000. Carson has worked in Tampa Bay radio for more than two decades. He has been the host of WUSF 89.7's Florida Matters since its launch in 2006. During that time he has reported on a variety of issues of importance to the community, including growth management, education, transportation, affordable housing, taxation, public health and the environment.
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