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Water-Related News

South Florida water district gets a new boss

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By Kevin Spear

The South Florida Water Management District, which regulates water and wetlands use in the southern half of Metro Orlando and beyond, has a new executive director.

The district, which has a reputation as a tough place for the top boss, welcomed on Thursday to the executive director's position Blake Guillory, who came from the same job at the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

The South Florida district, based in West Palm Beach, is the largest by far of the state's five water districts; it extends from the southern half of downtown Orlando to the Florida Keys, taking in 7.7 million residents.

The executive director's post had been vacant. The South Florida agency's chairman, Daniel O'Keefe, an Orlando lawyer, said Guillory has the "right experience and qualifications."

Many of the water district's executive directors have grown up professionally within Florida's various offices of environmental protection. But as with other executive directors appointed by Gov. Rick Scott, Guillory has a professional background rooted in the private sector — in his case as a longtime water consultant.