With Florida lawmakers preparing for a potentially major debate about water policy, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam will make recommendations Thursday to a House committee. Putnam said during an interview this week with The News Service of Florida that he hopes lawmakers will be “bold” in addressing water issues.
“(We) need a policy that’s flexible enough to recognize that some years we have droughts and some years we have 90 inches of rain in 80 days, comprehensive — in other words, making it statewide, recognizing this isn’t just an Everglades issue or a Tampa Bay water shortage issue, this is statewide — and long-term,” Putnam said during the interview. “It’s going to take more than just one session of doing something about it to really have a long-term, sustainable method of bringing our water supply back to where we need it to support the economy and the environment.”
House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, and Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, have made clear they want to focus on water issues. Also, voters approved a constitutional amendment in November that requires setting aside money for land and water projects. Putnam is slated to testify Thursday before the House State Affairs Committee.