The Price of Sprawl

Not Enough Drinking Water!

Florida is running out of drinking water from the Floridan Aquifer, our main source of drinking water which has been relatively clean, cheap and plentiful — until now.

The average Floridian uses about 158 gallons per day. New residential development uses much more water than older homes because about 67% of its water is for landscape irrigation.

The map shows most of Florida is either “Running Low” or “Empty.”

Over-development has depleted the drinking water supply in most parts of Florida. Explosive population growth and wasteful water use requires enormous water volumes from the Aquifer.

Unrestrained pumping results in salt water intrusion which destroys fresh water. Salt in drinking water wells requires development of new water sources or a very expensive process called desalination to remove the salt.

Unrestrained pumping also draws down Florida’s surface waters — springs, rivers, lakes and wetlands. It also causes dangerous sink holes. Building and paving over aquifer recharge areas precludes the aquifer from being replenished.

What about alternative water supplies?

Although politicians talk a lot about alternative water supplies, few Florida governments realistically depend on these sources because of their costs and feasibility.

Alternative water supplies include surface water from lakes and rivers; man-made reservoirs; retreatment of waste-water; and desalination. Surface water & reclaimed waste-water are about 5 times more expensive than aquifer water. Desalinated water is about 10 times more expensive than aquifer water.

How much more drinking water will your community need at build-out? How much has your water bill gone up over the past few years? Because clean drinking water is a precious resource, you can expect your costs to go up and your supplies to continue to diminish.

Ask your politicians why they assume Florida has an unlimited, cheap supply of drinking water.