Title: Water Resources in Jeopardy
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00002328/00001
 Material Information
Title: Water Resources in Jeopardy
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: SWFWMD
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: Water Resources in Jeopardy, Jan 1994
General Note: Box 10, Folder 14 ( SF-Water Use Caution Areas-SWFWMD - 1993-1994 ), Item 43
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00002328
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

Too Little Water,

Too Much Demand
The scenery, the activities, the
lifestyle may present a different
picture, but west central Florida is
S running short of inexpensive
S drinking water. The demands on
.: onr water resources are tremen-
dous and will only grow. The 3.5
m ; million people in west central
Florida need water for every facet
'; of daily life. Our region boasts a
Striving agricultural community i
Reliant upon water resources.
<"^ `-. i .'. i' ^^ -^ u^ ^k^-^^ ^ ^^ i ^ M^^i^^ ^^^^^^ ^^

Lower than normal rainfall from 1989 through
S 1993 has left the District ilth afir year
rainfall deficit of more than 28 inches. ,

O ? their businesses and industries,
from tourism to power plants,
phosphate mines to leisure activi- ;
ties, real estate development and
the environment, rely on water.

S Serious water problems have I
evolved due.to over pumping and
tremendous population growth.
SOver 7,000 permits for water use
exist within the 16-county area of
the Southwest Florida Water
Management District (SWFWMD).
These permits authorize the
pumping of up to two billion
gallons of water a day from
groundwater and surface waiter
sources. Over pumping has
caused dramatic stress on ground-'.:
Swater and surface water resources i < :
and signs of this are evident in

many areas of the District. For
example, lake levels have de-
clined, leaving docks out of water
and waterfront property high and
dry. Wells have dried up or been
Staintedwy unwanted minerals.
Saltwater intrusion, the seep-
ing of chlorides and other miner-
als into the aquifer, has affected
numerous wells along the coast.
Projections forecast that saltwater
will continue to move inland at a
; rate of several inches per day. At
this rate, hundreds of wells in
, coastal Hillsborough, Manatee
Sand Sarasota counties are at risk."',
Studies show that since the
1940s, the water levels in the
Floridan Aquifer have dropped by.
as much as 50 feet in central
Manatee and portions of Hil'lsbor-
.n k Inrl An ,ralI Pnl r-L ,n iL c

T" I W .

PoSlnal l
Impact of

S cSahl w a ter wl

Previous Movement

Next 50 Year
eMovement -
Existing Withdrawals
Next 50 Year
Movement Projected
Demand in the Year 2020
Salewatr intrusion threat en freshwater wells near
the coals. Saltwater would continue o advance even
if demand stais at its current level. Proecled demand
in 2020 could result m significantly deeper intrusion
if action is 'no taken nbo to prevent it,

Florida bhas received lower than
average rainfall, giving'the Flori-.
dan Aquifer fewer chances to
replenish itself.

g-61 ,o, l ,cou esJ Al though southwest Florida :,
The declining groundwater levels Although southwest Florida
Receives an average of 53 inches of
have contributed to the lowering rain per year, only a small amount
of lake levels along the Highlands actually makes its waydowri to
Ridge. For example, the water the Floridan Aquifer, our region's
level of Crooked Lake in Polk- supy. di
County has fallen by 15 feeL. The main water supply. Depending
lake has shrunk in size by )3,000 on the area's geology, which
lake ha shrunk ze by varies throughout the District,
acres over the last 30 years., less than an inch may beab-
Occasional drought conditions sorbed, while in other places more
have only aggravated the already than 10 inches soaks into the
stressed conditions caused by the aquifer. The majority of the
long-term water supply problems. rainwater either evaporates, is
Within the SWFWMD, approxi- absorbed-by plants, or runs off the
mately 90 percent of our water land to support our fragile eco-
supply comes from underground : :systems.',
aquifers. Since 1989, southwest

: '^ Water Use Forecast *
SPAo.jectd Increseresw in Waer Use, B C&aeg"y, From Now 2020 %

Public Supply Recreational :., Minng -9%
B+63% ,w '

+38% 2- +26%
Agriculture Industrial +76% Other Petabe Uses
Water use in most categories will increase dramatically by the year 20?0.



Understandably, when long- f
term water problems are com-
K. bined with short-term drought ;
S.conditions, and more and more
.:users compete for our limited
water resources, the groundwater
Supplies become stressed. .
S Based on the District's Needs -
and Sources Study, water use in
the District is expected to increase
significantly over the next 30
years. The study determined how-
much water was needed for the
future and what sources were:
available to meet the demand.
Water supply problems and i-
demand for water will only get
worse unless something is done to
Restore the balance. Ensuring
Enough water for everyone now
and in the future a concept ,
;-known as "sustainable yield" .-is :
the.ultimate goal for all the ;.
D district's water protection plans.

What 'is :'the

Southern WaterU ie

l Caution Area?
In October 1992, the SWFWM -
Governing Board declared the
Southern half of the District the :
Southern Water Use Caution Area
(SWUCA). Earlier, three smaller
WUCAs the Eastern Tampa
Bay, Northern Tampa Bay and the
Highlands Ridge had been estab- :,
wished. But the Board sorn real-
ized that water resource problems
-within the Eastern Tampa Bay and
SHighlands Ridge WUCAs were
interrelated and needed to be .
addressed collectively. The Board -
therefore established the larger
: Southern WUCA.
T :The SWUCA encompasses
5,100 square miles and eight
counties Hillsborough, Sara- .
sota, Manatee, Hardee, DeSoto, '
Sand the portions of Polk, High-
i lands and Charlotte counties
within the District. :
The SWFWMD Governing
SBoard's goal for the SWUCA was -
-_ to develop a plan that would stop
regional deterioration of ground-
water supplies and the decline of
Slake levels, while looking to

conservation and alternative "
supply sources to provide water
needed for the future.
Important studies conducted
by the District have confirmed the
need for the SWUCA and for
intense action plans.
S The District began an intensive
study in 1989 to answer several
key questions about the ground-
water system: "What is the safe
yield?" or how much water can be
withdrawn without damaging the
underground aquifer; and, "Do
water withdrawals in one area
affect an adjacent-or nearby
areas?" "

The results of the"
Water Resource As-
sessment Project ,
(WRAP) in the Eastern
Tampa Bay
WUCA showed
that about 150
million gallons- -'
per day (mgd)
could be withdrawn "
without causing
further movement of
saltwater inland over
Sthe next 50 years.--
Although withdraw-
als in this area
: average between
175 and 200 mgd,
more than 400
mgd is permit-
ted for with-
SThe. tudy '
Also confirmed
-'that pumping :
in one area
. affects adjacent-,
or nearby proper-
ties. Tjis i"itetela-
tionship means that
the District needs to
carefully consider
how permit applica-
tions may affect
other property owners,
as well as revise rules
that allowed over pump-
ing to occur. _

.Taking Action
SLimiting Permits. A first step
; to protect water sources was the
Governing Board's decision to not
Issue any new permits in the
SWUCA's most severely affected,
,,area, dubbed the Most Impacted
Area (MIA). Applications for
permits that fall within the MIA
have been denied since early
Involving the Major Water'
Users. To find solutions to the
water shortage problems, District
staff enlisted the help of a work
group representing a cross-section
of all affected water users. Mem-
Sbers included representatives
: \ from environmental organiza-

I I Water Use
Caution Areas
Marion within the Southwest Florida
Water Management District

SWater. Ue Caution Areas
i'rtu ; I include re mor tan half of
SC *. the Southwest Florida
SWater Management
u-'---e r ,District's total area. The
--t.. -..- -sumte-r-1 .
existing Eastern Tampa
Hernando \-Ba' and Highlands
Ridge W LCAs. in
addition to the
akeI light shaded area




-Southern .WUVC

3*3- "-~ ------I -

GoalSusaable Yie (

Strategy-Exploring Alternative Water Sources:

1 .

tions, agricultural and industrial standards; developing alterr
Businesses, public supply utilities sources to offset the impact
Sand other interested parties. The existing groundwater supply
group also was asked to review capping quantities of water
technical data as it applied to the :, withdrawn from affected aqi
SWUCA and keep colleagues allowing some redistribution
informed of their progress. existing water uses within tl
S The 32-member work group affected area;:and, expanding
Shas met monthly since January District's monitoring efforts
1993. A draft management plan provide updated knowledge
was submitted to the SWFWMD, : about the condition of the ar
SGoverning Board in the fall of water resource
1993. New rules for all water Reviewing Alternative So
users are being drafted, will be A : key to alleviating stress in
Reviewed publicly and then SWUCA will be exploring o
W;- writtenn into law. The new rules for creating "new water." A
Smay go into effect as early as native water sources and str
Summer of 1994. conservation methods will b
Key SWUCA Strategies. The important aspects of the SW
i'key strategies for the SWUCA action plan.
plan will involve implementing h- 11' have al
more stringent conservati uiden made in, waer conserv
S. especially in agriculture and
.-, ,v industry. Growers have con
Sverted;4to more efficient irrig
systems. Other businesses a
industries are successfully ir

Reclaimed waiter can be used to irrigale lawns and landscapes. ,gotfcourses and sport

which reduce their demand for.
fresh water. Car washes, phos-
phate mines, golf courses and
power plants are using reclaimed
water. Utilities encourage conser-
vation through education, plumbt-:.
a -i: ing fixture retrofit programs and.
O conservation rate structures.
S Alternative water sources such
as treated wastewater or re-
S claimed water, desalination,
reservoirs, and storing"treatedC_
w- water underground, a technique;
called aquifer storage and recov-
e ery, will be examined very care-
fully within the SWUCA plan.

I New Water Needs

New Moneyj
::'The District is dedicated to its
mission: preserving and protect-
'ing water resources in southwest
Florida. However, there is a price
associated with achieving this
active goal. The District adopted its
on ,- fiscal year 1994 budget setting up
es; a fund to help finance such
;efforts. The $10 million' New
uifers; 'Water Supply Fund" wiltbe
Sot matched with local government
e : money to support projects such as
g the making reclaimed water more
to available for agricultural and
S residential areas, improving ,
area's -conservation programs, or possi-
Sbly building desalination plants.:
,urces. The istrieD t's Coopeirative
the Funding Program is an existing
options mechanism whereby local govern-
Iter- ments and other public organiza-
onger tions may receive money from the
e 'District to help finance their
UCA water resource programs. The,
Cooperative Funding Program is
-ready administered through the :
nation, District's Basin Boards, citizens
: appointed by the Governor to
handle local water management
ation issues. In fiscal year 1994 the .
nd Basin Boards will fuiid almost $15
icor- million in water resource projects.
The Cooperative Funding '
V.*' Program and the New Water
S Supply Fund are examples of how
tax-dollars are spent on water
resource projects that benefit
corxnun ties in southwest
Shields. Florida.

_I _

:*__(____1/17___ 1:_ q

'Few government agencies are
: tasked with the sensitive job of
explaining why farms, cities,
mines and power plants must face
a future of less water that will
Cost more. The District has taken
Timely action to protect precious
resources and to provide for
future needs. We have sought
input from those that will be
affected by critical water manage-
ment decisions.

..- .,.

: ..~---

Oiur decisions will be tough
-'and not always popular with
everyone who is affected. The
S District's primary responsibility,
however, is to balance competing
interests and ensure that safe,
reliable water supplies are avail- '
able for everyone, now and in the

. .

SWFWMD Headquirters
2379 Broad Street
- Bri6oksville, FL 34609-6899
S1-800-423-1476 or 904-796-7211

Ta npa Offce
7601 .S. Highway 301 North
S'Ta mpa, 33637

SBartow Office
;170 Century Boulevard
SBartow, FL 33830

: Ve-ice Office
111 Coporpation Way .
S -Venice, FL 34292 -

SInverness Office
:12303 Highway 44 West
Inverness, FL 34453
S. (,. 904-637-1360 ..

Southwest Florida Water Managementi district
2379 Broad Street, Brooksville, FL34609-6899

5100 0610931208000778
TAMPA FL 33602-0000


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A wings on our newsletter mailing lists and permit holders list. Please recycle.this important information by passing
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LII i -- -- 1-. -- ---- .._. ---- rir -- a~----4 -r------

.- .

FPor inore information about the
Southern Water Use Caution Area,
Sthe Needs and Sources Study, the
SWater Resource Assessment
Project report, or other District-
issues, please call the service.
- office nearest you. District office
hours are Monday through Fri-
Sday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

S^ -0

~. .~

:- :f .,.





~1- ;,




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