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. Also: 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.
In recent years, the word 'drought' has almost gone hand-in-hand with our sunny Florida weather. With news of the drought in mind, WUSF was recently invited into the homes of Clara Ann Yarian of Dunedin along with George and Arleen Wich of Clearwater. In both locations, Florida Matters producer Larry Elliston was introduced to some innovative, low-cost ideas for combating the current water shortage, and learned how to transform one of them - the rain barrel - into visual, as well as functional, artwork.