Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says Florida faces a water shortfall of more than a billion gallons daily by 2030.
He addressed legislative and business leaders Friday in Orlando at the Florida Water Forum, on what he says will be the state’s largest long-term issue.
Putnam called on lawmakers to resurrect legislation for a statewide water policy. The legislation failed during the spring session.
He says a unified policy that considers water conservation and reuse will be important as the state faces a future in which shortages could cause businesses to rethink relocating to Florida.
“Water will be the new oil if we don’t get it right.”
Putnam says now is the time for the policy, when lawmakers are not influenced by a historic hurricane season or drought.
The agriculture commissioner spoke at the sixth-annual Florida Water Forum, organized by Associated Industries of Florida.
Sponsors include the Florida Farm Bureau, Orlando Utilities Commission and Florida Crystals.
Amy Green is a reporter with WMFE in Orlando. WMFE is a partner with Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.