Irrigation permits are not being issued in two regions of the state due to on-going "sound science" studies, says Harold Reheis, director of the state’s Environmental Protection Division (EPD).

"We’re not currently issuing permits in the Flint River Basin, for withdrawals from the Floridan Aquifer or from flowing streams. We won’t resume issuing permits until we’ve completed our sound science study," he says.

The sound science study, he adds, will help determine how much water is available, the measures needed to make the water source sustainable and how much more water can be allocated from the source.

Also affected are 24 coastal counties in Georgia, where no permits are being issued for withdrawals from the Floridan Aquifer.

"These sound science studies will be completed, along with plans for making the water sources sustainable, by the end of 2005," says Reheis.

e-mail: phollis@primediabusiness.com