Keywords: aquifer storage, aquifer recovery, comprehensive everglades restoration plan, CERP, environmental justice, equity, ethics, just environmental sustainability, sustainability, sustainable development, water, naturalisation
Is environmental justice all dried up? Drilling for water in the everglades dredges up questions regarding the potential for a just environmental sustainability
This paper considers the social, environmental, and political implications of plans to employ aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) technology as a major part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) as exemplary of the predicament inherent to the challenge of achieving the goal of just environmental sustainability. Although ASR promises to be a low cost solution to regional water issues, its implementation means the continuation of harmful agricultural and developmental practices within the region, which fostered the environmental and social crisis that the CERP is now tasked to mitigate. Further, the plan's overwhelming dependency upon ASR, a technology of questionable efficacy given the scope of its intended use, raises questions as to the refusal to seriously consider alternative solutions, such as naturalisation. This paper argues for a new approach to environmental issues of this sort, offering just environmental sustainability as an alternative to sustainable development and environmental justice initiatives, both of which neglect to fully take into account ethical considerations when addressing accountability and enforcement.