water rights; state and regional regulations and farmers

The Gainesville Sun recently ran a nationally syndicated editorial about the impact of immigration on water resources in the context of climate change, specifically the increased occurrence of “droughts.” In her piece, Scripps Howard writer Bonnie Erbe fails to acknowledge the significant differences between eastern and western water law, and the features of Florida Water Law, which has and continues to serve as a model for other states. Ms. Erbe expresses serious concern about the “unrestricted” pumping of groundwater by farmers and how this in combination with increasing population will deplete the nation’s water supply resources. Whereas, at least in Florida, agriculture does not have unlimited access to groundwater or any other water sources, and is among the most conservative in its use of water. Our nation’s farmers are faced with environmental challenges on a daily basis and in Florida and elsewhere have a lot to teach the rest about water conservation. Lets not forget U.S. agriculture built this country and feeds people all over the world. Water preservation through regulation and permitting is here to stay, but farmers just like members of Ducks Unlimited know the importance of stewardship of limited resources better than most. Their way of life depends on it. Municipal, County, Regional, and State regulations all affect farming practices. I have found farmers embrace best management practices (BMP’s). The outdoors, our “environment” is their office, its where they go to work.