Florida Chamber calls for smart, sustainable water solutions for state’s growing population

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As more people flock to the Sunshine State, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is calling for business and policy leaders to find innovative ways for addressing long-term water needs.

Florida Chamber President and CEO Mark Wilson, speaking Friday morning at the Central Florida Partnership Regional Leadership Forum, stated 28 percent more water is required by 2030 to serve the state’s growing population. The goal of the forum, titled “Working Together to Advance a Regional Water Strategy,” was to secure Florida’s future by sustainable solutions to meet increasing needs for clean water.

“Water is Florida’s most precious resource,” Wilson told the crowd. “As Florida becomes the third most populous state in the nation, investing in Florida’s water infrastructure needs is necessary to keep pace with our growth and maintain our world-class environmental assets.”

Florida currently uses 7 billion gallons of water each day, according to Chamber estimates. The state’s population expects to grow by an additional 5 million people by 2030, requiring up to 9 billion gallons of water daily.

“Smart and sustainable solutions will help answer questions like where extra water will come from, how water rates will be affected and how we will minimize any negative impacts to our environment,” Wilson said. “These are the questions we must answer in order to secure Florida’s future.”

As part of its 2015 Florida Business Agenda, Chamber intends to work closely with Gov. Rick Scott, the Cabinet and Legislature for sustainable, high quality and affordable water solutions to support both environmental and economic development.

The Central Florida Regional Leadership Forum was hosted by the Central Florida Partnership and sponsored by the Orlando Regional REALTOR Association;  held in partnership with the South Florida, St. Johns River and Southwest Florida Water Management Districts.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.