Aqueduct For Florida A Modern-Day “Roman” Germ of an Idea

Aqueduct For Florida A Modern-Day “Roman” Germ of an Idea

The west coast of Florida remains trapped in an ongoing drought. In Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties (Tampa and St. Petersburg/Clearwater) severe restrictions on water use are in place. Even the use of reclaimed water for lawns and gardens is now restricted. The rainy season is not yet here; but in past years the amount of rainfall received during the wet months was far below the historical average, so that reservoirs and ground water supplies have never had a chance to recover.

The situation is quite different in northern Florida, in the Panhandle and all across the State close to the Georgia border. The weather in those parts of the State is generally wetter, and more consistently so, than the weather farther south.

Yesterday, our local St. Petersburg Times carried a story (with photographs) of the damage which is now being inflicted in Madison County (which borders Georgia) by floodwaters from the Withlacoochee and Suwannee Rivers. The storms which produced the rain moved from west to east across the Panhandle over the past week, to the point at which the Withlacoochee crested at 89 feet, four feet above the record set in 1948. So far, the rising floodwaters have destroyed or caused severe damage to almost 200 homes and lesser damage to 500 more, all areas combined. Two people are known dead, and one person is missing.

Quite apart from the possibility of reducing the tally of deaths, personal injury, and property damage which even a partial remedy for river flooding in these areas might entail, it boggles the mind just to consider the sheer waste of so much fresh water. Most of that damaging flood water will be gone forever as it eventually finds its way to the Gulf of Mexico. That’s a shame, because so much of it could be put to good use in the west coast, central, and other parts of the State where it is so desperately needed. The waste is not just limited to damaging flood waters, either. The “top of Florida” is blessed with more rainfall, on average, than it needs. Obviously, the flow of river water into the Gulf represents a volume of water which has not been put to good use.

In passing, we acknowledge that the flow of a certain amount of river water into the Gulf is said to be necessary for the health of the shellfish beds near the coastline.

Even so, it seems inadmissible to stand by and do nothing but watch a surfeit of water in the northern counties lay waste and then go to waste while there is such a great need for water in other areas of the State. Surely there is a partial remedy which might ameliorate the problems in the affected sections.

The Romans found a way to move big volumes of water over considerable distances. Surely we can build on their success – and on successes over the centuries since that time – by constructing an Aqueduct system to bring excess water from the northern Florida counties to drier areas to the south.

The best part is that the right-of-way is already in place! It’s called Interstate 10 and Interstate 75. Take a peek at a map of Florida. Find the intersection of I-10 and I-75. The Suwannee and Withlacoochee Rivers are close by, as are other rivers. There are others to the west, and I-10 probably crosses every one of them.

Excess water could be fed into the Aqueduct lying above-ground or underground in the median of I-10 at various points along its route, and then fed south toward Tampa and St. Petersburg/Clearwater in that part of the Aqueduct lying within the median of I-75 and I-275. Do you see how obvious that is?

If ever there was a perfectly-planned right-of-way for a particular purpose, although not part of the design at the outset, this is it.

There would be hurdles. There always are. Will and determination were invented for the purpose of overcoming hurdles.
It seems to me that the construction and operation of The Florida Aqueduct is an undertaking which private capital should undertake. It need not cost the State a penny.

Let’s see whether anyone steps up to the plate.
William Kurtz

Palm Harbor, Florida

April 11, 2009

The author is a retired corporate CEO and attorney, and a long-time investor. He has passed the NASD Series 65 Investment Adviser exam. He publishes his Investment Newsletter and Action Suggestions three times per week at The Action Suggestions provide specific Safety Stops on major Indexes; a review of the major Indexes; an individual review of each of the Gold, Silver, and Crude Oil markets; an individual review of each of the Dow 30 stocks and of selected non-Dow stocks; a review of five popular Forex pairs; and his Daily Commodities Report. The Daily Commodities Report is also available as a free-standing service at The Operating Manual for his copyrighted “Candelaabra” technical analysis trading system for all financial markets is also available through its own website at and via

“Candelaabra” rides atop Genesis Financial Technologies’ “Trade Navigator” © platform. “Trade Navigator” with the “Candelaabra” overlay, and data feed, are available directly from Genesis by arrangement with CandleWave, LLC. in a joint risk-free 30-day trial of Trade Navigator and of Candelaabra.

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