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Florida Friendly landscaping imminent in St. Pete? listen

11/25/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Florida is in the midst of a severe drought, which has led to major restrictions on water use. In response, St. Petersburg City Council member Karl Nurse announced this morning that he is requesting that the city examine landscaping on property it owns and, where appropriate, replace St. Augustine grass with landscaping that is Florida Friendly.

“And the logic of that is twofold. One, it will save money because the maintenance is radically reduced...

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Hillsborough suspends backflow enforcement listen

08/20/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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At today’s Hillsborough County Commission meeting, the Board decided to temporarily halt enforcement of residential backflow prevention violations. Eight Sun City Center residents spoke in favor of the county suspending enforcement.

Many of the residents who spoke had received notices of violation because they do not have backflow valves that prevent the lake water they pump for irrigation from contaminating the drinking water supply. Expensive backflow pumps are required, even at houses w...

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Tampa Bay Water gives water update listen

08/18/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday
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This morning the agency that supplies drinking water to the nearly three million residents of Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas counties met in Clearwater. The Board of Tampa Bay Water considered new sources for the region’s long-term water supply, the status of the current drought and damage to the region’s largest reservoir.

In June 2005, a 15-billion gallon drinking-water reservoir opened in Hillsborough County. But major cracks in the wall were discovered before the end of 2006. Tampa...

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Tampa budget workshop – fewer cuts in 2009 than last year listen

06/24/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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This morning the Tampa City Council held their second workshop on the city’s fiscal year 2009 budget. They received proposed budgets from several departments, including Police, Fire, Neighborhood Services, and Growth Management. Tampa’s Police Chief Steve Hogue said his department would need 132 million dollars next year and would slightly reduce personnel to 1318 employees. “I have submitted a reduction of about 16 positions this year.”

Hogue said fuel costs are leading Tampa’s Police to ...

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Report on Hillsborough environment sees red listen

06/19/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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This morning, the Environmental Protection Commission, or EPC, of Hillsborough County received the annual State of the Environment Report and heard how the commission will trim $820,000 from its budget.

EPC Executive Director Rick Garrity presented the 2007 State of the Environment Report to EPC board members, who are also Hillsborough County commissioners. Garrity said many of the county’s waters have been declared impaired by the state or federal government, which are indicated by red in...

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Tampa will draft plan for reclaimed water listen

06/05/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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The city of Tampa will soon hire a consultant to produce a master plan for reclaimed water, to analyze the best way to use the valuable resource.

Steve Dagnault, the city’s administrator of Ppublic Works and Utility Services, announced today. Dagnault says the city recently crafted an agreement with Tampa International Airport, and is just now planning on getting reclaimed along the Bayshore for irrigation there. He also says the city hopes to have reclaimed used as Curtis Hixon Park is re...

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Food crisis, global warming and water shortages

04/30/08 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Wednesday)
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An international group of food scientists says countries should not use food crops to produce biofuels during a world food crisis.

Three scientists with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research say if nations stop turning corn into ethanol this year, it would cut 20 percent from the price of corn next year. Instead of using grains, the international group is calling on the U.S. and other countries to shift biofuels production to nonfood crops such as switchgrass...

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Tampa City Council discusses agreement on sending reclaimed water to Polk County listen

04/24/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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The Tampa City Council voted today to approve the first step in a $180 million deal that would send reclaimed water to Polk County.

The plan would be to send the waste water from Tampa and Hillsborough County to reservoirs owned by Mosaic Fertilizer, where it would be sold to its customers, including Tampa Electric.

The Memorandum of Understanding was presented to the Council last week for approval, but was delayed until today, mainly because of concerns expressed by Councilwoman Mary M...

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Betty Castor on global importance of water listen

03/13/08 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Betty Castor, executive director of USF’s Patel Center for Global Solutions, spoke today about the global importance of clean water. She gave the keynote address on “International Water Day” at Hillsborough Community College’s Ybor City campus. The event was sponsored by the Tampa Bay Chapter of the United Nations Association of the United States of America (UNA-USA).

Castor explained that the scarcity of clean water is a global concern.

Castor, who is the former commissioner of educa...

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Report details troubled waters in Florida

10/11/07 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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The nonprofit group Environment Florida released a report today revealing that many polluters in Florida repeatedly violate federal clean water laws. The report is called Troubled Waters: An analysis of Clean Water Act compliance.

Environment Florida used a Freedom of Information Act request to get data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regarding all major facilities across the country that exceeded their Clean Water Act permits in 2005.

Two Tampa Bay area counties, Hillsbo...

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