Environmental Protection

hillsborough riverThe Floridan Aquifer is one of the most productive aquifers in the world, underlying an area of more than 100,000 square miles. Yet, the population boom in the Southeast has created so much demand that we’re overusing it in some places.

Florida’s water management districts along with local utilities, work hard to protect the aquifer and our rivers and coasts by smartly managing the water resource and the environment that sustains it.

The aquifers in Florida contain more than a quadrillion gallons of water – that’s a “1” with 15 zeros after it. Yet, this figure is highly misleading, because much of this water is expensive to develop. Found far inland where populations are smaller or found far deeper than before, the water has to be moved from where it is and then treated before it’s delivered to homes. All of that costs money.

Florida is bordered by the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean that makes our coastal freshwater sources susceptible to saltwater intrusion. It’s an expensive process to get salt out of water, but it’s done in communities around Florida every single day.

Minimizing consumptive use and even looking at recharging the aquifer in high-population areas with reuse are part of smartly managing our resources. And really, if we have to pay to treat the wastewater to such a high standard, does it make sense to just throw it away?