Your water resources

Material Information

Your water resources origin, quality, needs, uses, quantity, movement, occurrence, conservation
Florida Geological Survey
Place of Publication:
Tallahassee, Fla.
Florida Geological Survey
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
Physical Description:
35 p. : illus. ; 23 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Water-supply -- Florida ( lcsh )
Water resources development -- Florida ( lcsh )
City of Tallahassee ( local )
Bodies of water ( jstor )
Water usage ( jstor )
Surface water ( jstor )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


Statement of Responsibility:
Florida Geological Survey.

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
The author dedicated the work to the public domain by waiving all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law and all related or neighboring legal rights he or she had in the work, to the extent allowable by law.
Resource Identifier:
30080181 ( OCLC )


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1 63

First printing 1960
Second printing 1960
Third printing 1962

First Revision 1963

Printed by The Florida Geological Survey
Tallahassee, Florida


What is water?
Where does our water originate?
How much water do we have?
How about waste water?
What can be done about contamination?
What does water contain?
Is it good?
What are our surface water resources?
What are our ground water resources?
How does water affect the landscape?
How is one watershed separated fromanother?
How does the land influence the supply?
How does ground water travel?
What are the current uses?
How much water for cities and towns?
Will industry have all the water it needs?
From where will water for livestock and
farm homes come?
How about irrigation?
How about the needs for recreation and
What are the prospects for using water for
How much water will we use in the future?
How do we lose water?
Can we have too much water?
How do we prevent flood damage?
Who pays for flood damage?
How can we protect and conserve our water
Who owns the water in Florida?
What is a well and how does it work?

55-7. 57

n o- I


Slorida has a high- average annual rainfall.
one of the largest and most prolific ground-water
reservoirs in the world; and great quantities of
surface water forming more than 30,000 named lakes,
innumerable springs, and-12 large stream basins and
many smaller ones. Seventeen of the springs each
discharge in excess of 65 million gallons per day.
and 49 others each discharge in excess of 6 million
gallons per day. The spring flow, combined with
that of the rivers discharging into the Gulf of Mexico
and into the Atlantic Ocean, averages morr than
40 billion gallons of water daily.

Florida has an adequate source of water for
all needs now and in the future a on as
technology and conservation keep pace with our
growing demand. Sound conservation practices can
preserve and utilize, with as little waste as possible.
our present fresh water supplies and their replen-
ishment. Technological advances will be able to
make available for reuse water that has become
contaminated and probably in the near future can
convert salt water economically into fresh water.

Since there is such an abundance of this most
important natural resource, what are the problems?
Why the growing concern over it)

The problems associated with our water re-
sources arise from the mismatching of man's needs
to the available supply. Therefore, problems of
Florida's water resources, for the most part, are
not from lack of water but from not having the water
arrive at the place ai the time it is needed, although
flooding, pollution, contamination, and heavy miner-
alization are locally troublesome.


Water is our most plentiful, important, and
valuable natural resource. It occurs abundantly in
our environment, and for the most part, where it is
utilized by man it is replenished by nature.

Chemically, water is a compound composed of
the two elements, hydrogen and oxygen. Physically,
it occurs in three states- as an odorless, transparent
liquid; as a solid; in the form of ice and snow and
as a part of plants, animals and minerals; and as
vapor in the atmosphere.

With a true perspective of water and the part
it plays in everyday life we can easily say it is
the key to the economic growth of Florida.




Our water resources come entirely from
precipitation (rain, dew, sleet, hail, snow). This
rainfall is a phase of a cycle that constantly renews
and revitalizes the supply. This cycle, called the
hydrologic cycle, is the endless journey of water
from earth to sky and back to earth. The water

* .

-u -L
enters the atmosphere by the process of evaporation
from open bodies of water, exposed land, and the
leaves of vegetation. Once into the air as vapor,
the water collects into clouds to be transported by
winds and condensed into water to return again to
the earth.

Contrary to the opinions that Florida's water
comes from as far away as the Great Lakes and
the Appalachians, our water resources are derived
from that rain which has fallen only on Florida or
southern Alabama and southern Georgia. This
rainfall ranges from an average annual rate of 40
inches at Key West to 66 inches at DeFuniak


The State of Florida has an average annual
rainfall of 53 inches. This amounts to an average
of 148 billion gallons of water falling upon Florida
in a day. Of this total, 108 billion gallons of water
is used by vegetation, or is evaporated from the land
and exposed water surfaces. Although use will

cause some of this loss to be salvaged in the de-
watered parts of the ground, for all purposes of
planning this water is not available to man. This
remaining 40 billion gallons replenishes ground
water, sustains lakes, and maintains the stream
flow. It is the stream flow off the land that is
readily available for future planning and utilization.

The part existing beneath Florida is our water
savings account, for beneath the surface lies one of
the most extensive and productive ground-water
reservoirs in the Nation, called the Floridan aquifer.
Several thousand feet of porous limestones make up
this principal ground-water reservoir of Florida.
This aquifer contains a volume of fresh water esti-
mated to be 800 to 1,000 cubic miles, about 30,000
times the average daily stream discharge of 40
billion gallons. Another way to express this is
that the volume of water in this reservoir has been
estimated to be 100 times Lake Meade impounded
behind Hoover Dam, the Nation's largest manmade
lake. There are also several less extensive water-
bearing rocks or aquifers that supply areas such as
Miami and Pensacola.


Waste is a necessary byproduct of our
day-to-day living, whether it be from the farm, the
cities, or the industries. It is frequently necessary
to remove this waste from its source. The degree
to which man alters the quality of water depends
upon the nature of the soils and water. Some wastes
are permitted or caused to be reduced to solids
and utilized or destroyed, others react with the soil,
and others are released into water courses, with
and without treatment. At the present time, water
is the most suitable way of diluting and transporting
these wastes. As such, a significant amount of
contaminated water results; and, while this is a

problem, it is minor compared to the problem that
would be created if untreated wastes are introduced
into surface streams and fresh-water aquifers.

At the present time, some of the waste water
is being treated or decontaminated so that it is re-
usable, but entirely too much is being introduced
untreated into our surface and ground water reser-

Today, most persons recognize that water is
life itself, and that it is economically wasteful and
morally wrong to pollute our water reservoirs. First
priority should be given to plans and action that will
reduce the pollution of our water resources.



Man's continued security and well-being
depends on how well the land can tolerate both
man and his wastes. Most wastes are discharged
as liquid solutions into the hydrologic cycle and
are mixed with products of the earth's weathering.
These contaminants are presently managed in

settling tanks, treatment plants and cesspools, and
by the dilution and dispersion in surface streams.

Some wastes are removed through their re-
action with the soils and sediments of the earth's
crust, but this may result in dangerous concentrations
of toxic elements. Wastes such as some detergents
cannot be removed and remain in the water. Some
nations now prevent the use of these detergents
within their boundaries.

Treated wastes are now combined with dilution
water and dispersed into the streams and ground to
obtain a satisfactory quality. Ultimately more use
must be made of the water now wasted, and if water
of good quality is to be maintained, it appears that
ultimately all wastes may have to be piped to central
areas and stored for periods of time necessary to
clean the water. Because the piping, controls, and
storage reservoirs would be costly, it is necessary
to develop some alternate way to reduce the need
for dilution water. Research in waste disposal
methods is therefore necessary.


Rain falling upon the earth is practically
pure, containing only a small amount of carbon
dioxide and oxygen, dissolved from the atmosphere.
Surface water and ground water both take into solution
varying amounts of substances with which they come
in contact. Surface water usually has larger amounts
of acid elements, while ground water usually con-
tains larger amounts of the basic substances. The
substances commonly found in greatest abundance
dissolved in Florida ground water are hydroger
sulfide, calcium and magnesium sulfates and bi
carbonates and sodium chloride. Iron and organic
materials are also present, but more commonly in
water at the surface and in shallow wells. Sodium
is usually restricted to highly mineralized water

such as waters affected by salt water intrusion.

Strontium and fluorine are present in some waters,

although usually in small quantities.


Constituent Effect on Water Quality

IRON More than 0.3 ppm (parts per million)
of dissolved iron will cause stain-
ing, discoloration (''red water'),
and an unpleasant taste.

HYDROGEN SULFIDE Gives the water an unpleasant odor
and taste, but is readily removed
by aeration,

(Calcium, Magnesium) Gives water a bitter taste if con-
SULFATES centration is greater than 500 ppm.

(Sodium,Potassium) Public supplies must contain less
CHLORIDES than 250 ppm. Larger amounts give a
saline taste and increase the cor-

(Fluorine in formof) Concentrations of 0.7 to 1.5 ppm are
FLUORIDE helpful in preventing dental caries.
Large concentration may cause mot-
tling of teeth. Concentrations of
this element in Florida ranges from
a trace to 2.5 ppm with a maximum of
13 ppm.

(Calcium, Magnesium) Contributes to hardness of water.
ORGANICS A source of acidity, color, and bad

NITRATE Domestic water should contain less
than 45 ppm. High concentrations
cause ''blue baby disease.''


In general, Florida water is good. Water
suitable for one purpose may be unsuitable for
another, and special quality water may not always
be found in the area in which it is needed. Artesian
water from wells is less subject to contamination
from surface sources, but there are isolated coastal
areas where the artesian aquifer now contains salty
water. This may be due to natural causes or to
poor management of municipal supplies where over-
pumping has introduced salines and rendered useless
the aquifer from which good water was once obtained.
Another example of poor management havingrendered
useless an otherwise good aquifer is the practice of
permitting contaminated surface water to be intro-
duced into the aquifer by means of drainage wells.

Drinkable water of high purity and quality is
available throughout most of the State from streams,
lakes, ponds, and deep wells. Where water from
deep wells are highly mineralized, shallow wells
provide an adequate supply.



Surface water occupies defined channels upon
the earth's surface as rivers, brooks, lakes, ponds,
swamps, marshes, and variations and combinations

of these. Manmade dams that create additional
reservoirs increase the surface water storage.
Ditches and canals may be constructed to drain
the ponds and swamps to convey the water to the
point of use. It is not feasible to quantitatively
estimate the total amount of water existing at the
surface, but the amount of surface water resources
available in manmade reservoirs has been tabulated.

S-- ._S -.- . ..
; ----~I-~P-_ ~L- -

Jim Woodruff Dam on the Apalachicola River
at Chattahoochee; Inglis Dam at Inglis on the Withla-
coochee River; Talquin Dam on the Ochlocknee
River at Bloxham; and Moss Bluff Dam at Moss
Bluff on the Oklawaha River, store in excess of
575,000 acre feet of water. An acre foot of water is
the amount of water required to cover an acre of
land to a depth of 1 foot, and is 325,850 gallons.

With the completion of the large water manage-
ment project now under development by the Central
and Southern Florida Flood Control District, 4
million acre feet of water can be stored during
periods of abundant rainfall in three conservation
districts for release during droughts.

In addition, under the U. S. Soil Conservation
Service, more than 3,500 small ponds on farms in
Florida have been constructed and store in excess
of 30,000 acre feet of water in areas where irregular
patterns of rainfall make these most useful. Many
of these ponds receive no water from streams and
are maintained entirely by rainfall.

At least 182 large springs are present in
Florida, most of which are fed by waters rising
from the porous limestones. Florida has more
large springs than any other state. Silver Springs
at more than 500 million gallons per day, and Rain-
bow Springs at about 450 million gallons, are among
the larger springs in the world. Silver Springs,
alone, discharges enough water to satisfy Florida's
municipal and rural domestic needs, if it could be
distributed to the place of need.

Florida's streams discharge in excess of
40 billion gallons per day into the Gulf of Mexico
and into the Atlantic Ocean.



The State is fortunate in having some of the
best and most productive ground-water reservoirs
in the world. These reservoirs consist of two
principal types. The first is the Floridan aquifer,
a sequence of limestones, underlying the State,
that function as would a pipeline through which
water travels under pressure from the intake area
to points of discharge. This is an artesian aquifer.
The second is a series of shallow ground-water
reservoirs, consisting of several types of sediment

( *V .-' ,
: , '

-iOWN6.-- -

in which water occurs under no pressure. The
surface of the water in these shallow aquifers is
the ground-water table. Aquifers of this latter type
are especially important in coastal areas where the
deeper artesian water is sometimes heavily mineral-
ized, such as at Miami and Pensacola. About 1.6
billion gallons of water per day are presently being
withdrawn through wells from ground-water aquifers.



Florida was built by water and the details
of its land surface are controlled almost entirely by
the erosion and deposition of water. All of the rocks
forming the State were deposited in the ocean and
gulf or in streambeds and deltas that emptied along
the coasts. In these environments, our rocks were
formed and some of the land's surface was created
as river flood plains, bars, deltas, and as marine

Changing or modifying of the land surface
is due principally to the action of running water.
This water is derived from a high annual rainfall
which, upon reaching the surface, seeks a con-
venient route down to the sea, picking up and
transporting part of the land as it travels, either
in dissolved form or as very small grained sediment.

Water that seeps into the ground may also
modify the surface. Where the bedrock is composed
of soft permeable limestone, there is a continuous
but imperceptible dissolving of this limestone by
the moving subsurface water. When the rock over-
lying these dissolved areas will no longer support
its own weight, there is a collapse and a subsequent
sinking of the land surface. Many of Florida's
lakes are formed in this manner.



A watershed is an area of land bordered by
ridges, hills, or highlands called divides that shed
or direct the water into a common stream or into
several streams that flow into a common body of

Florida is divided into approximately 50 well
defined watersheds. Although these are natural

4reas be'twfei rdges

units, they are important political or management
entities, as each has specific problems and indi-
vidual characteristics which may or may not be
held in common with another watershed. Problems
of flood erosion, drought, contamination, and sedi-
mentation must usually be met within the boundaries
of each watershed.



Because Florida has a very sandy soil and
a flat terrain with numerous sinkholes, lakes, and
swamps, much of the rain that falls is retained on
the ground surface or sinks into the earth. Because
of this, the percentage of water that runs off is
moderate, compared to some other areas in our

The amount that seeps into the ground or runs
off also depends in part on the slope of the land,
vegetative cover, type of soil, and agricultural
improvements. Soil management by the farmers,
growers, and ranchers is an important step in water
control and management.

The land regulates, to a large extent, the
amount of water that enters the basins. Sloping
surfaces are drained faster than flatlands. Sandy
lands and limestone areas absorb water more readily

than clay lands and permits storage for dry times.
In some areas of Florida there is a layer of dense,
organic sand or hardpan, just under the surface
which retards the movement of water into the ground.

The lakes and ponds of Florida are storage
basins for surface supplies and through which the
ground water is being continuously replenished.


The force that causes ground water to move
through rock and loose sediment is called water
pressure, and is similar to water placed in elevated
tanks to supply a city with water moving through
pipes. The rock acts like a pipe and areas where
water enters the ground are similar to elevated


Contrary to some popular opinion, ground
water is contained in rock pores and cavities and
moves through these connected pore and cavity
spaces in the rock, rather than being contained in
underground lakes and traveling by underground
streams. There are areas where solution has created
large cavities filled with water, but these are
usually disconnected, one from the other, so that
a continuous channel does not exist. The porosity
of a rock, that is the measurement of void space,
determines how much water it will hold. Since the

number and size of pore spaces is so varied, ground
water travels at variable rates; and it is impossible
to give other than a general estimate of the speed.
A general rule would be that the range of ground-
water velocity is not more than 5 feet a day to less
than 5 feet a year.


The use of Florida's water is as diverse as
the many activities in the State. Since these range
from permanently removing the water from the natural
sources, and thus preventing any future utilization,
through a use as casual as boating and fishing, it
is necessary to know what use means in terms of
its relative effect on our water. For this reason,
it is helpful to have terms that recognize the type
of use and the effect of this use upon the supply.

The basic categories of use terms are with-
drawal and nonwithdrawal. Withdrawal includes
the requirement that water be removed from its
source; that is, the ground or lakes and streams.
Consumptive and nonconsumptive are the two types
of withdrawal use. Consumptive implies a permanent
utilization of water such as that which is made so
contaminated, is evaporated, or incorporated in some
process and thus lost for any future use. Noncon-
sumptive uses are those of a temporary nature that
do not change the amount or quality and which is
available for other and further uses. Nonwithdrawal
uses are those that do not require that the water
be removed from its natural source, and for this
reason are not readily available for a quantitative

The following table summarizes the major
withdrawal uses in Florida in million gallons per
day for 1956 and projects it to1975, when the
population is expected to excee 8 million.

1956 1975 Increase

Agricultural 1,182 2,500 111
Industrial 2,227 4,650 109
Municipal 390 900 130
Rural 104 150 44

Total (mgd) 3,903 8,200 110



Florida's total population in 1960 v
4,952,000. Approximately 68 percent, or 3,370,0L
were served by public water facilities. Of thiL
urban total, 1.5 percent, or 50,000, were served
from surface water and the remaining 98.5 percent,
or 3,320,000, from ground water. This total urban
population utilized 500 million gallons per day of
ground water, and 23 million gallons per day of
surface water. Essentially, this would be classed
as a nonconsumptive use. This amounts to 15'i
gallons per day for each person living in citieE
and towns.


I A'~i"~ I


Projections to the year 1975 have been based
on the following: That the total population in 1975
will be approximately 8 million, of which 80 to 85
percent will be served by public supplies, and the
per capital use of 157 gallons per day remains
essentially the same. It is anticipated that the
total city and town nonconsumptive use will exceed
1 billion gallons per day, and of the total amount
used about 17 percent will be consumptive.


The water requirements for industry are
more diverse than those for other uses. Some
industries use very large volumes of water while
others use practically none. The quality require-
ments also vary greatly depending upon the type
of industry some requiring water of the highest
purity while others can use water of almost any

for NAeedsp?

In all uses conservation should be undertaken
by reusing water whenever possible, and by reclaim-
ing it where desirable and necessary. However, it
is not expected that there will be a shortage of
water for industrial use in the foreseeable future,

provided that intelligent plans for water supply
are made prior to the location of new industrial
sites,or expansion of present plants.

There are four major industrial users of water
in Florida: (1) electric power installations use
68 percent of the total withdrawals of which about
4 percent is consumed, the remainder being returned
to the reservoirs; (2) pulp, paper and chemical
industries use about 19 percent; (3) citrus processing
plants use about 4 percent; and (4) the mining
industry uses about 9 percent. The last three users
consume about 17 percent of the total water with-
drawn from the supply.



Practically all farm water supplies in
Florida are obtained from privately developed wells.
In some areas these wells flow naturally, while in
others pumping is necessary to furnish an adequate
supply. In 1960 the approximate rural population
was 1,582,000 and the use of ground water was at a
rate of 86 million gallons per day. Thus, a daily
requirement for farms with running water is esti-
mated at 54 gallons per day for each person. This
is classed as nonconsumptive use.

In 1960 the total use of water by livestock
was estimated to be 23 million gallons per day, with
6.5 million gallons per day derived from surface
water and 16 million gallons per day from ground
water. The daily requirements are 12 gallons each
for horses and beef cattle, 25 gallons each day for
dairy cattle, and about 2 gallons each for small

Projections to the year 1975 indicate moderate
increases in the total water used, but farm home and
livestock use of water is not increasing as rapidly
as that of the other major water consumers.


In 1956 there were 16,584,000 acres of
productive farm land and pasture in Florida. About
660 million gallons of water a day were used upon
742,000 acres subject to irrigation practices. Even
though a large amount of water is supplied by rain
falling upon crops and groves, this is not neces-
sarily enough; nor does the rainy season always
correspond to the growing season. For these
reasons, it is necessary to supply additional water
from nearby surface reservoirs or from wells. About
41 percent of the irrigation water is from wells,
some of which flow naturally. The remaining water
is derived from lakes and streams. It is estimated
that 2,500 million gallons of water will be needed
daily in 1975 to supply the irrigation needs of
Florida's growing agriculture.



Florida, by virtue of its relatively large
uninhabited areas, climate, and fresh and salt water
facilities, is attractive to those seeking outdoor
recreation. Primarily because of these abundant,
available opportunities, Floridians take part in
more outdoor recreational activities per capital than
the average American.


The use of water for outdoor recreation has
become so vast that it is difficult to assess with
accuracy, but the present demand by the 5 million
permanent residents and the 13 million annual
visitors is expected to steadily increase in the
years ahead. In the next 10 years our population
will swell to about 8 million and the number of
tourists is expected to increase to about 19 million
annually. The recreational activities will increase
with personal income and leisure time.

The water in its natural environment is not
only needed for man's direct recreational need, but
indirectly as well in the support of wildlife. Water
used for fresh-water recreation, hunting, and wild-
life is classified, for the most part, Asnonwith-
drawal. This mn tat the waterinvolved cannot
be evalinted "uantitatively, but the money spent by
the public in water recreation is a vast segment of
the economy of Florida.

The chief threats to our recreational use of
water are pollution and inadequate public access
to recreational areas.



Because of the low relief and flat terrain
that is natural to Florida, and the resulting sluggish
streams, there are very few sites available for the
development of dams suitable for power production.
At the present time only three hydroelectric power
dams are operated in Florida: Jim Woodruff Dam on
the Apalachicola River at Chattahoochee, Inglis
Dam at Inglis on the Withlacoochee River, and
Talquin Dam on the Ochlockonee River at Bloxham.
The Jim Woodruff Dam is the largest of the three;
and it is designed to produce an average of 212
million kilowatt hours of electricity, but that only
during times when the head pool has an effective
head above the tail pool, rarely present during

Steam-generation installations used in excess
of 1,700 million gallons per day of fresh water
during 1960, of which only about 4 percent was

obtained from ground water. This use is noncon-
sumptive withdrawal and is returned directly to its
source with no quality change.



The need for pure, fresh surface and ground
water will increase tremendously in the future. In
the next 10 years the requirements will nearly
double. The total withdrawal use of fresh water
excluding that used for water power, amounts to
about 1,100 gallons per day per person in Florida.
This is a total withdrawal use of 5.5 billion gallons
a day in 1963. By 1975 this total will exceed
8 billion gallons a day. This does not include
nonwithdrawal uses such as recreation, navigation,
and electric power generation. The needs for
recreation will increase at a rate greater than the
uses illustrated above. The primary reason for




PER 5-
IN 3





1956 60 65 10 '5

this is that as our standard of living increases and
work weeks become shorter the time available for
recreation increases. Recreational needs must be
met as a prime economic need of the State.


Only a relatively small amount of water may
be considered to be permanently lost for any future
reuse. However, water may be lost in the sense
that misuse renders it unavailable for some length
of time. Examples of this temporary loss are: The
contamination of streams that ruin them for recre-
ation, fish, and wildlife; the contamination of ground
water by drainage wells; overpumping ground-water
supply wells, allowing salt-water contamination; and
sea level canals that provide ready avenues for salt
water to enter the aquifers. In areas of artesian
flow, open casings, leaking valves, valves left
open needlessly, leaking casings, and wasteful
irrigation practices remove excessive amounts of
water from ground-water storage.

Water is considered to have been consumed,
and therefore no longer available to meet the needs
at the point of use, if it is evaporated or combined
in a product or made so contaminated or polluted
that it is useless.


To anyone who has
the aftermath of a flood, it
have too much water at
times. Since most of
Florida is within 60 miles
of the sea and less than
35 feet above sea level,
drainage is often inade-
quate during the wet
season. Not only do
some sections of the
State suffer from seasonal
stream flooding but also
from a high water table

been in a flood or seen
is obvious that we can

--- -Fo

and raised lake levels accompanied by waterlogged
soils and temporary ponds. Flooding in Florida is
frequent and normal because of the flatlands, the
concentration of much of the annual rainfall over
short periods, and the absence of protective water-
control facilities.


The first plain above a river is called a
floodplain because it is periodically flooded. This
floodplain varies in width from an extremely narrow
beach to a very broad plain. Man in his eagerness
to be near water will often build upon the floodplain
and subject himself to the periodic problem of high
water. To lessen this problem along many major
rivers, there have been constructed levees to hold
the water back and channels cut wider and deeper
to aid in faster removal of excess water.

This same eagerness to be near water applies
to lakes. The level of water in the lakes fluctuates
with rainfall, much the same as rivers do. There
are many examples of man encroaching too low in
the lake basins when the water is low; and when
the level recovers to a normal or above normal
state, the problem of inundation of property is upon

Flood prevention activity is not confined to
rivers or lakes entirely. There are primary measures
that should be taken prior to high water. Very
frequently, what man does to the soil, and vegetation
it produces, has a large bearing on how much water
soaks into the ground and how rapidly water runs off
to collect in lakes and streams. Large flood control
districts have been created to aid in control of this
excess in very large areas. The Central and
Southern Florida Flood Control District is an
example of this type of organization. A type of
control that has not been practiced much in Florida
and is perhaps the least expensive preventive
measure is the zoning against building too close

to lakes and streams. Some counties are now
applying this approach, but there is a great need
for a state zoning authority to anticipate the needs
of Florida for lands to be dedicated to water control
and management, waterways, and recreational
development. The purchase of land now for these
purposes will be comparatively lower in cost than
in the future.


The uplands areas of stream basins are
frequently utilized by rural and agricultural elements
of our society. In these areas the basic approach
is proper land use and treatment, such as good
forestry and agricultural practices to preserve the
land. There are governmental agencies such as
the Soil Conservation Service that stand ready to
assist the land owner in the conservation program.

Lower in the stream basins where the water-
ways become navigable, the engineering structures
and channel improvements that are necessary for
flood prevention and control are costly and beyond
the individual's means for installation. They require
group action, technical planning, and corporate or
governmental financing. In this area, the U. S. Army
Corps of Engineers determines the feasibility, plans
and designs the control structures, supervises the
construction, and in some cases operates the

In addition to the agencies that control and
manage natural waterways, there are agencies that
are set up to control flooding by constructing large
conservation (impoundment) areas. Such agencies
in Florida are the Central and Southern Florida
Flood Control District and the Southwest Water
Management District. These districts have specific
boundaries and exercise taxing power within these
boundaries to help pay for the construction of
flood control structures.

There also exist agencies that are set up to
plan for and carry through the construction of
canals that are used to improve navigation. These
canals also serve as important links in the total
flood control picture.



We can best protect and conserve our water
resources by developing a comprehensive statewide
long range water plan. This plan should be based
on a complete understanding of the natural and
manmade controls that regulate the storage, move-
ment, and quality of water conditional to the
availability and need for water, fairly apportioned
among the users.

Ground-water management must be statewide
but surface-water management is a watershed
problem and must be approached within each water-
shed. A coordinated district action is required and
usually a soil conservation program is included.
The construction of terraces to reduce slope wash,
the encouragement of good soil tilling and mulching
practices, the planting of protective vegetative
cover, all work toward soil and water conservation.


The Watershed Protection and Flood Preven-
tion Act ( U. S. Public Laws 566 and 1018)provides
for management and use of water by upper watershed

control structures. Flood control and agricultural
benefits can be combined with improvements for
industrial and municipal supplies, wildlife manage-
ment, and recreational facilities with these sharing
in the costs of construction according to the value
and degree of the benefits.


Florida follows the general rule of riparian
rights, which essentially guarantees that each
riparian proprietor is entitled to make use of any
water resources on his land, provided his use does
not unreasonably affect the rights of adjacent
riparian owners. This right implies "reasonable
use," but this term has never been clearly defined
by legislative or judicial authority in Florida.

In 1955 the Legislature of the State of Florida
declared that the "waters in the state are a natural
resource," and that "the ownership, control of
development and use of waters for all beneficial
purposes is within the jurisdiction of the state
which in the exercise of its powers may establish
measures to effectuate the proper and compre-
hensive utilization and protection of the waters."

Such implementation of this policy must be
within the framework of judicial opinion relative
to the riparian doctrine. Irrigation is necessary


in Florida. The construction of surface reservoirs
and the use of waste waters for this purpose should
be encouraged. But irrigation is not possible with-
out the loss of water through evaporation, and
large losses might exceed the "reasonable use"
provision of the riparian doctrine.

The laws of Florida should anticipate the
relative rights of human needs, stock requirements,
irrigation, industrial, and recreational uses, and
should adopt means to fairly apportion such rights
to the extent to which they are most reasonably
capable. In this way, waste and unreasonable
use of water should be prevented.

The Department of Water Resources was
created in 1957 for the purpose of implementing
the water policy of Florida. This department
primarily exercises control over and manages our
water resources, formulating reasonable rules and
regulations to implement the policy. The Florida
Geological Survey is designated by the Legislature
as the primary state agency for the collection of
data on water resources, and joins the U. S. Geo-
logical Survey, state universities, Salt Water Fish
Commission, and the State Game and Fresh Water
Fish Commission to provide specialized data on
water resources relating to specialized fields of



A water well is simply a hole dug or bored
into the ground for the purpose of getting water.
If it is to be productive, it must be deep enough so
that water stands in the bottom. Wells drilled or
dug into sand and clay would probably cave in and
fill up if something was not used to keep the sides
from sluffing. To prevent this, casing (pipe) is
used, and well screens (strainers) fitted to the
base of the casing serve to make it possible for

water to enter the well and at the same time keep
the very small sand and clay particles out.

Wells that are drilled into bedrock are
usually cased only through the sluffing section,
as the rock portion of the hole stands open and
yields water without the use of casing and well

Of course, pumps are needed in most wells
to lift the water, that has entered the well bore,
the surface.

The level of water in wells fluctuates with
seasonal variation in rainfall the same as does
the level of surface bodies of water. There are
times when wells are said to go dry. This may
mean only that the water level in the well has
been lowered below the intake pipe of the pump,
and increasing the length of this intake pipe will
often correct the trouble, although sometimes the
well must be deepened.


At the present rate of consumption and
level of technology, Florida's water resource is
not only sufficient to meet all present needs but
is sufficient for all expected growth. There exists
now large quantities of good ground water which
are not being used. Excluding this ground-water
surplus, it is estimated we have a surplus runoff
in streams of about eight times the amount of
water withdrawn in Florida at the present. Much
of the water tabulated in withdrawal use has been
used many times and the total use is cumulative.
However, the runoff is water that is immediately
available for additional and increased uses. In-
dustry has been, and will be, attracted by large
volumes of good water combined with extensive
tracts of available land, good research facilities,
and an unexcelled climate, beaches and recrea-
tional facilities. This makes Florida an ideal
spot for future industrial growth.

40,000 -----

1 J SUPP -
3 30,000-

0 20,000
0 -


Salt water has not been considered thus
far in our discussions. This is not because it is
unimportant but rather because of the obviously

inexhaustible surface supply existing within 100
miles of any locality in Florida. Salt water, much
with only minor concentration of salt, exists at
depth under all of Florida below the fresh water
and is available in large quantities for many
industrial needs.

The anticipated withdrawals in some parts
of Florida will exceed the dependable supply of
water or the low runoff of 1954-55. Thus it becomes
increasingly urgent to form long range plans for
water development and management, to obtain the
land necessary for the construction of control
structures, to provide a statewide zoning plan
that will insure the availability of these lands,
and to start the construction required to insure
the continued availability of water at the time
and place it is needed.

The limited problems that have arisen in
the use of the State's water resources can be
eliminated for the most part by wise development,
management, and control. This is the responsi-
bility, not of a few, but of all the people of Florida.


The water resource facts for Florida
developed by a number of State and Fed
agencies. Inquiries may be addressed to

Basic data -

Division of Geology,
State Board of Conservation
P.O. Box 631
Tallahassee, Florida

Water Resources Divison
U.S. Geological Survey

Ground Water Branch
P.O. Box 2315 MS
Tallahassee, Florida

Surface Water Branch
Federal Building
Ocala, Florida

Quality of Water Branch
Federal Building
Ocala, Florida

Beaches and shores erosion and preserve

Division of Beaches and Shores
State Board of Conservation
107 West Gaines Street
Tallahassee, Florida

Climate and meteorology

Department of Meteorology
Florida State University
Tallahassee, Florida

U. S. Weather Bureau
Washington 25, D. C.

trol and management including flood control
and water management districts

Division of Water Resources and Conservation
State Board of Conservation
107 West Gaines Street
Tallahassee, Florida

trol and use of salt water fish and marine life

Division of Salt Water Fisheries
State Board of Conservation
107 West Gaines Street
Tallahassee, Florida

trol and use of water for game and fresh water

Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission
646 West Tennessee Street
Tallahassee, Florida

elopment of large watersheds, harbors, and other
waterways for navigation, power, flood control
and water management

U. S. Department of the Army
Corps of Engineers
Mobile and Jacksonville Districts
Mobile, Alabama, and Jacksonville, Florida

elopment of small watersheds for flood control,
water resource development and management,
good water, and soil conservation practices

U. S. Soil Conservation Service
P. O. Box 162
Gainesville, Florida

potranspiration rates, soil moisture, irrigation

Agriculture Experiment Station
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida

Date Due

Due Returned Due Returned

per day

Cubic feet
per day

Gallons per

Acre feet
per day

Cubic feet
Der second

1 gallon per day ONE .1337 .0006944 .000003069 .000001548
1 cubic foot per day 7.4805 ONE .005195 .00002296 .00001157
1 gallon per minute 1,440 192.50 ONE .00442 .00223
1 acre foot per day 325,850 43,560 226.28 ONE .5042
1 cubic foot per second 646, 323 86,400 448.83 1.9835 ONE

Unit Cubic inches Gallons Cubic feet Cubic yards
1 cubic inch ONE .004329 .0005787 .00002143
1 gallon 231 ONE .13368 .00495
1 cubic foot 1728 7.4805 ONE .03704
1 cubic yard 46,656 201.974 27 ONE

Unit Square inches Square feet Square yards Ac res Square miles

1 square inch ONE .00694 .0007716 --- ---
1 square foot 144 ONE .1111 .00002296 ---
1 square yard 1295 9 ONiE .03320566
1 acre 6,272,640 43,560 ONE
1 square mile ---__27, 878,400 3,097,600 640 ONE



I 1 I

... .,

Date Due

Due Relurned Due





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