Title: Florida Conservation News
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00000718/00001
 Material Information
Title: Florida Conservation News
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: Florida Conservation News
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: Florida Conservation News, July 1986
General Note: Box 7, Folder 1 ( Vail Conference 1987 - 1987 ), Item 111
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00000718
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


YIN i-

by Jamas F. Swaey
The World's reat hydrologic system is
vulnerable to man's constant pollution and
waste, nowhere is this more evident and
alarming than in the state of Florida.
It seems ironic and tragic that the peninsula
named for its abundant flora and explored by
the Spaniard Ponce de Leon for the fabled
'fountain of youth', now finds a precious
fresh water resource in short supply and often
filled with toxic chemicals.
According to Worldwatch editor Sandy
Prost, "water planners in many corners of the
world are projecting that within two decades,
water supplies will all short of needs." Prost
and other experts point to aquifer or ground-
water reservoir depletion, falling water tables,
pervasive depletion and overuse of water sup-
plies, and streamflows reduced to ecologically
damaging levels as the most serious problems
facing us today.
The U.S. Congressional Budget Office
estimates that of the nation's 756 large urban
water systems, 170 will need additional water
supply by 1990. The southeast region, which
includes Florida, may face an annual capital
shortfall of S500 million, even assuming a
doubling of water usage fees.
Cities throughout the world are now ex-
periencing spiraling demands for fresh water
as their populations grow. In Florida, the pro-
blems of overuse magnified by concen-
trated populations along coastlines that usual-
ly have limited groundwater resources. Swim-
ming pool and concrete have replaced
wetlands and greatly reduced the amount of
water holding areas that can effectively recy-
cle water back into the hydrologic cycle. Ex-
perts agree that many cities, especially in
Florida, will experience more frequent fresh
water shortages If steps toward conservation
and greater ater efficiency are not taken. In
the United States, despite federal water quali-
ty laws that encourage reuse, reclaimed water
comprises only 0.2 percent of total annual


can water their lawns, but this alone will not
solve the crisis of droughts and depleted water
tables. After all, public supply accounts for
only ten percent of all freshwater usage in the
state of Florida. Meanwhile, agriculture and
industry combine for an alarming seventy per-
cent of all freshwater used in the state annual-
ly. In 1985, four industries used more than
eighty percent of all water used in U.S.
manufacturing; chemicals, petroleum,
primary metals and paper. In Florida. the
largest consumers of freshwater are un-
doubtedly the citrus and phosphate industries.
A single chemical phosphate mine can use
100,000 gallons of water a day, more than an
entire city.
Problems with irrigation, dams and reser-
voirs are classified into four main areas: phy-
sical, chemical, biological and socio-
economic. Reservoirs in Florida are highly
susceptible to evaporation losses as well as be-
ing blamed for altering and destroying river
systems and wildlife habitats. Mexico experi-
enced a total elimination of river fluctuations
that disrupted their shrimp and coastal fisher-
ies (Crosson, Cummings and Frederick 1973).
Reservoir flooding in many third world coun-
tries has brought about deadly diseases to the
local populations. Parasitic diseases spawned
by new water on the land today affect 200
million people in sventy-one countries and
the disease remains unchecked. In Europe and
the United States, a tremendous amount of
freshwater is being used and contaminated by
improper agriculture chemical spraying. This
has been going on for some time as herbicides
and pesticides are dumped on crops and these
chemicals quickly become part of our only
water resource -- the hydrologic cycle. A re-
cent report by the Congressional office of
Technology Assessment reported chemical
contamination in underground water supplies
of more than 1000 wells in every state. Since
193., over 4,000 wells nationwide *
..-. I ,-.,.1

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