A wish list is not a water plan

John R. Jenkins

Executive director of Bonita Springs Utilities, Inc.

A recent guest piece advocated a Bonita Springs master plan intended to solve flooding problems, provide for irrigation water needs and reduce pollution in the Gulf of Mexico, all while saving $10 million per year.

At one point, the author asks why no one has come up with this idea before. They have, just not with a claim that it will also save money. The first challenge with any flood control plan can be summed up in one word: volume. In 2017, Hurricane Irma, and the weeks of rain that preceded it, flooded Bonita Springs.

Water volume like this is measured in billions of gallons. That’s billions with a “B.” The author commented favorably on the city of Naples Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) wells pulling water from the Golden Gate Canal. The permitted capacity of those wells is less than 10 million gallons per day, a tiny fraction of what would be needed for Irma-type flooding. Imagine a fire hose pushing water through a drinking straw.

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