Florida Faces Major Water Supply Challenges 28 November 2016
Florida Faces Major Water Supply Challenges
The writer pointed to these words from a 1946 Florida textbook: “Our water resources can and will be exhausted unless we use them wisely and plan for some method of storing water to be used in dry seasons.”
Experts say Florida has major water-shortage challenges looming on the horizon if it does not begin conserving more.
1000 Friends of Florida, an advocacy group, released a report in November predicting what the state will look like in 2070 in terms of water resources. “We are losing Florida's natural and agricultural lands,” the report said. "More than 1000 people move to Florida every day.”
Development trends are expected to strain water resources in the state. The report found that water demand in Florida may rise by 50 percent by 2070, according to CBS Miami.
“Working from a 2010 baseline, the ‘Water 2070’ report shows the state uses about 5.27 billion gallons per day, with a projected rise to 8.1 billion gallons per day if current practices continue and if the state’s population, which is more than 20 million now, expands by 75 percent,” CBS Miami reported.
The good news is that conservation can make a big impact on the state’s water challenges.
“Outdoor irrigation is the major contributor to development-related demand, and steps to reduce the amount of water lost through irrigation would go a long way to make Florida’s future more sustainable,” say Ray Smart, president of 1000 Friends of Florida, per CBS Miami.
Officials agree that conservation is vital for the state. “Water conservation is the most important action we can take to sustain our water supplies, meet future needs, and reduce demands on Florida’s fragile water-dependent ecosystems such as lakes, streams and the Everglades,” according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
Nevertheless, water challenges are hardly a new problem for Florida, veteran environmental reporter Tom Palmer pointed out in a recent editorial published by News Chief.
He pointed to these words from a 1946 Florida textbook: “Our water resources can and will be exhausted unless we use them wisely and plan for some method of storing water to be used in dry seasons.”
Palmer suggested three strategies for addressing the problem: conservation goals, water budgets, and water use monitoring.
Image credit: "miami skyline," christopher © 2007, used under an Attribution 2.0 Generic license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/