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JUPITER, Fla. -- City officials want an exemption from new
water restrictions, saying the municipality already is conserving by
investing millions in alternative water supplies.
After more than a year of below-average rainfall in the area, the
South Florida Water Management District imposed restrictions that
were designed to cut southeast Florida's water use by at least 15
But Jupiter officials said they should be exempt from the new
rules because they have spent roughly $50 million on alternative
water sources since the 1980s -- with less than half of their daily
water supply coming from freshwater sources.
City officials won't enforce the restrictions until the district
replies to its request for an exception, which was filed recently. A
reply is expected in early April.
Town Utilities Director David Brown said Jupiter's system can
treat water from a saltwater source and pull more drinking water from
a freshwater source that isn't affected by the drought conditions.
South Florida Water Management District Spokesman Randy Smith said
he disagreed with Jupiter's water-use assessment.
"Its important here to note that we in South Florida -- Jupiter
included -- are in a very critical situation right now. And it is of
the utmost importance to create a conservation culture," Smith said.
"Jupiter is no different from anyone else."
The restrictions affect the roughly 5.5 million residents of
Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach counties. Smith said
Jupiter is one of a few municipalities to request an exception.
As part of the new restrictions, residents are only supposed to
water their lawns three days a week and golf courses and nurseries
are asked cut back on their water use.
Local governments are charged with overseeing the restrictions.
Violators can be punished with fines or jail time.
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