Water Future

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Experts are saying water costs need to rise in Florida in order to protect natural resources while supporting the state's growing population

The experts were at a state conference on water issues.

They say raising water rates is the most obvious way to pay for developing water sources, such as purified sea water, as an alternative to overused ground water supplies.

But other funding options include property taxes, a fee on real estate sales, or eliminating the sales tax exemption on bottled water.

The conference, called "Avoiding the Politics of Water Shortage," was intended to help the Florida Chamber of Commerce develop a list of recommendations for the state's water policy.

A tentative proposal calls for the state to dedicate money for new water supply projects, but doesn't identify a source.