Mayor Bob Buckhorn Supports Water Ownership Bill

TAMPA (2012-01-12) -

Mayor Bob Buckhorn and state representative Dana Young from Tampa have collaborated on a bill that would make drinking and reclaimed water property of the utilities handling it.

State law says all the water that runs through pipes or sits in a river is a public resource but Mayor Buckhorn wants it different.

Buckhorn says a bill filed by state representative Dana Young will secure control over the city's reclaimed water. The city gets rid of about 60 million gallons of treated water a day for lack of a better use.

To make sure the city has a reliable source of drinking water, Buckhorn says no other jurisdiction should have a say in what to do with that water.

"We treated that water, we paid for the treatment of that water, that is our water," Buckhorn said, "All this bill does is codify that in law."

Right now, the water supply is subject to permitting by governmental agencies like Southwest Florida Water Management District.

Critics say this bill is a step to privatizing the water supply but Buckhorn says it is not.

"That's nothing more than to create hysteria around a boogeyman that doesn't exist," he said.

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