Water Requirements in Florida

Material Information

Water Requirements in Florida
Industrial Development Magazine


Subjects / Keywords:
Water usage ( jstor )
Water requirement ( jstor )
Irrigation ( jstor )
Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States of America -- Florida


Richard Hamann's Collection - Water Requirements in Florida
General Note:
Box 12, Folder 1 ( Materials and Reports on Florida's Water Resources - 1945 - 1957 ), Item 16
Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.

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Water Requirements in Florida



It is extremely difficult to estimate with any degree
of accuracy either the present or future water require-
ments of a state which is increasing in population as
rapidly as is Florida and whose basic economy is like-
wise undergoing substantial changes. A recent study
of population trends made for the Board of Control of
State Institutions indicates that in 1970 Florida will
have a population of 6,013,300, or 217 per cent of its
1950 population. In comparison, the Bureau of the
Census estimates that the United States population in
1975 will be only 133 per cent of the 1950 population.
Furthermore, rural population is changing rather rap-
idly. In 1950 the urban population of Florida was
65.5 per cent of its total population. Since it is believed
that the major part of the very large predicted increase
in population for the state will take place in urban
areas, it is assumed in this study that the urban popu-
lation of Florida will be 70 per cent of the total popula-
tion in 1970.
During the past decade new major industries have
entered the state and there has been a substantial
expansion of existing industries. The number of tour-
ists visiting the state annually greatly exceeds its total
population. There has developed an increasing ap-
preciation of the value of irrigation in increasing crop
yields and improving pastures. All of these facts in-
dicate that the water requirements of Florida will in-
crease far more rapidly during the next 15 years than in
most other parts of the country. That such rapid in-
creases in water use can take place is dramatically illus-

treated by the case of Texas. During the 50 year period
1890-1940 the population of that state increased 287 per
cent but the use of water for all purposes increased
7,000 per cent. In 1930, Texas City was using 1.5
MGD; in 1950, it was using 23.3 MGD.
As a background for this study it will be of interest
to examine the estimated total withdrawals and re-
quirements for water in the years 1950 and 1975 for the
nation as a whole. Table I presents the data. It will
be noted that the estimated increase in water pro-
duction during the 25-year period is 50 per cent for
municipal supplies, 170 per cent for industrial, and
25 per cent for irrigation. In this study Florida's
water requirements have been grouped under the
same three headings.

I. Municipal and Rural

Table II presents a brief picture of Florida's public
water supplies as they compare with the nation as a
whole. The data are taken from the U.S. P.H.S. 1953
Statistical Summary of Water Supply Treatment and
Practices in the United States. Since the years fol-
lowing 1945 have witnessed an extraordinary growth
of suburban residential areas, many of which own and
operate separate water systems, it is likely that the
above figures for public water systems are too low. The
American Water Works Association believes that in
1950 at least 17,000 communities were being served by
public water supplies and that by the close of 1955

Estimated Total Withdrawals and Requirements for Water
In the United States-1950 and 1975

Estimated withdrawals, Estimated require-
1950 ments, 1975 Increase 1950-75

Billion Billion Billion
gallons Percent gallons Percent gallons Percent
per day of total per day of total per day increase

Municipal and rural -___ -
Direct industrial ____- _---
Irrigation ....----------------- --------
Total --..- -----------






'Roughly half of total municipal supplies are used industrially.
2Includes an estimated 15 billion gallons per day of salt water used in industry for cooling.

*Director, Bureau of Water Research, University of Florida.


Number and Types -of Public Water Supplies in the
United States and in Florida

United States Florida

Basis of Comparison Number Percent Number Percent

Total communities served -.--.----
Surface sources ---- -------
Ground sources --- --------
Both surface and ground sources
Treated supplies ----.------------.
Untreated supplies --.-------
Both -.------ _......... ------



from 17,500 to 18,000 population groups of 200 or
more persons will be so served.
The per capital use of water is also steadily in-
creasing in this country. In 1900 it was 88 gallons per
person per day. In 1950 it was 138 gallons per person
per day, having increased at the rate of one gallon
per person per day per year during that 50-year period.
If this rate of increase continues, each person will use
155 gallons per day in 1970. This is due to increasing
use of air-conditioning installations, home laundry
machines, automatic dish washers, garbage grinders,
lawn sprinkling installations, etc. All of these may be
termed "luxury" uses of water and they will probably
continue to increase. The American Water Works As-
sociation estimates that of a per capital consuniption
of 140 gallons, 50 gallons is residential, 50 gallons in-
dustrial, 10 gallons public (fire-fighting, street washing,
etc.), 20 gallons commercial and industrial, and 10
gallons lost through leakage, breaks, etc. It calls at-
tention also to the fact that in most cases municipal
water use is largely nonconsumptive, all but about
10 per cent returning to water courses below the cities.
It is interesting in passing to compare water consump-
tion in America with that in Eastern Europe and Asia.
In Budapest, Hungary, with over 1 million inhabi-
tants, the per capital use of water is 48 gallons per day;
in Bucharest, Rumania, it is 53 gallons per day; and
in Bombay, India, only 36 gallons per day.
The most recent data available from the U. S.
Public Health Service are those of 1948 which indicate
that in that year 1,673,190 people in Florida were being
served by public water supplies. Using this conserva-
tive figure and an average per capital consumption of
138 gallons gives a figure of 240 MGD. Based upon an
average per capital consumption of 50 gallons per day
the 1,204,517 rural inhabitants of the state presently
require 60 MGD. To these two totals must be added
an increment for water consumed by tourists. The
Florida State Chamber of Commerce reports that
5,100,000 tourists visited the state in 1953 and the

average length of stay was two weeks. If we reduce
that figure to 4,500,000 for 1950, an average stay of
two weeks would amount to a population equivalent
of 173,080. This, multiplied by 138 g.p.c.d., gives a
figure of 24 MGD water required for tourists. We,
therefore, may summarize the requirements under
this heading as follows:
Municipal ---.- ......- -------...... 240 MGD
Rural ...... ..---------.-- ---..- 60 MGD
Tourists ----...----.----------------- 24 MGD
TOTAL -..--......--.. --------...----- 324 MGD
This will be rounded to 325 MGD in the final tabu-
Calculations for 1970 requirements in these three
categories are based upon a population figure of
6,013,300; that 70 per cent will be urban and 30 per
cent rural; that the average per capital consumption
will be 155 g.p.c.d.; and that 9 million tourists will
spend an average of two weeks in the state during that
year. Based upon these assumptions the following
totals are found:

Type of Use

Calculated Figure

Rounded Value

TOTAL 796.2 800

The City of Miami is an excellent illustration of the
problems which must be met by a water department
serving a rapidly growing metropolitan area. Total
water production increased 88.2 per cent in the 10
year period and water was produced during the year
1954 at an average rate of 63 MGD.

II. Industrial Water Requirements
Before attacking the problem of evaluating Flor-
ida's industrial water requirements, it is necessary to
speculate as to the extent of the state's participation in
the tremendous industrial development which is tak-
ing place throughout the South. The Southern As-

- U


City of Miami

Year Total Water Production
1945 12,231,385,000
1946 13,222,346,000
1947 14,107,918,100
1948 15,507,065,125
1949 17,376,514,850
1950 18,152,320,475
1951 19,590,585,625
1952 22,287,808,475
1953 21,515,685,250
1954 23,015,679,250
Maximum Month 1954-Aug. 1954 2,195,925,750
Minimum Month 1954-June 1954 1,625,919,750
Maximum Day 1954-Aug. 19, 1954 89,731,000
Minimum Day 1954-May 16, 1954 41,000,000

sociation of Science and Industry estimates that the
South will gain 3 thousand major manufacturing
plants in the next 10 years and that a high percentage
of them will be chemical plants. The South now has
one-third of the chemical industries of the nation and
this ratio is expected to increase to one-half within
the next 10 years. Since the outbreak of the Korean
War, one-half of all the new chemical plants built in
the nation have been located in the southern states.
Florida is now one of the fastest growing chemical
manufacturing states in the country according to a
survey made by the Manufacturing Chemists Associa-
tion. This survey showed that in the 12-month period
ending October 1, 1954, Florida stood second among
all the states of the Union in chemical plants com-
pleted, under construction, or planned, its total being
exceeded only by the state of Texas. During 1953
Florida completed $152,000,000 in new chemical con-
struction projects and will add $83,600,000 more dur-
ing the next three years. This total of $236 million
of new construction is nearly eight times the value
of all chemical facilities in the state in 1952. Now
26th among chemical producers, the Manufacturing
Chemists Association predicts that Florida may move
into the top ten within a few years. These facts are
important to this study because the chemical in-
dustry is a "wet" process industry consuming large
quantities of water and, incidentally, producing large
volumes of industrial wastes. Three main types of in-
dustry have been studied because it is believed that
their combined water requirements represent perhaps
90 per cent of the total requirements for industrial
water in the state.
A. Pulp and Paper
There are nine plants in Florida having a combined
daily production of 5,655 tons. Of this total, 360 tons
per day are produced by the sulfite process and the

remaining 5,295 tons by the sulfate or Kraft process,
with or without bleaching. The National Association
of Manufacturers estimates that the production of one
ton of sulfite pulp requires 60,000 gallons of water and
one ton of sulfate pulp, 64,000 gallons of water. Use
of these figures together with the production figures
listed above would indicate a daily requirement for
this industry of 360 million gallons. However, data
obtained from sources within the industry, and which
are believed to be reasonably accurate, indicate a much
lower total daily requirement, by the nine plants, of
199.5 million gallons. A rounded value of 200 MGD
is, therefore, used for the 1950 water requirements of
this industry.
B. The Phosphate Industry
It is difficult to estimate the use of water by this
industry, first because it bears little relationship to
the connected well capacity of the various plants and,
second because the various companies have realized
the importance of water conservation and the reise of
water by the industry is increasing. In Florida Geologi-
cal Survey Report of Investigation No. 7, Part III,
Peek states that use of water by the phosphate industry
in southwestern Polk County alone was approximately
75 MG per day in 1950. This figure did not include
that used by the phosphate companies in Hillsborough
County and in the remainder of Polk County. At
least one phosphate mine and washer possesses wells
having a total capacity of 60 millions of gallons per
day. At the present time there are seven companies
mining phosphate rock, several of which have two or
more mining operations going on simultaneously. Each
company also has one or more flotation plants. In ad-
dition, there are seven triple superphosphate plants
in the state, one rock defluoridation plant, four plants
producing elemental phosphorus and at least three
plants producing single strength superphosphate. One
of these plants is known to have a waste flow in excess
of 25 MGD. Taking all of these facts into considera-
tion we have arrived at a figure of 115 MGD as a rea-
sonable and conservative figure for the 1955 water
requirements of this industry. It has been arrived at
by assuming that an average of 75 MGD is used for
mining and washing phosphate rock and an average
of 40 MGD in the various types of processing opera-
C. Water Requirements for Processing Citrus
The Florida Citrus Commission lists 43 plants as
presently producing either single strength juice, con-
centrate, or both. Accordingly, a simple question-
naire was mailed to each of these plants requesting
information as to the source and amount of water used,

F------- ------------- .~--~----~~1~1-


r amount of water reused, if any, the number of gallons
of concentrate or cases of single strength juice, and
the number of days of plant operation during the year.
To date replies have been received from 18 of the 43
plants. However, the 12 plants replying which produce
concentrate represent a total production of 38,110,010
gallons, or 54 per cent of the 1953-54 production of
69,990,802 gallons. The 11 plants replying which
produce single strength juice represent 22,657,250
cases, or 57 per cent of the 1953-54 total production
of 39,874,705 cases. Wakefield, as a result of studies
in a few plants, arrived at a very preliminary figure
of 150 gallons of water per gallon of concentrate and
40 gallons of water per case of No. 2 cans of single
strength juice. When an attempt was made to calcu-
late similar values from the returns received, extreme-
ly inconsistent results were obtained. For example,
the values for the plants producing concentrate varied
from as low as 78 gallons of water per gallon of con-
centrate to as high as 605 gallons of water per gallon
of concentrate. Five of the 10 values, however, were
fairly consistent, being respectively 346, 438, 323, 339,
and 428 gallons of water per gallon of concentrate
with an average value of 375 gallons of water per
gallon of concentrate, or more than double Wakefield's
With respect to single strength juice, the discrep-
ancy was even more marked since the values ranged
from a low of 11 gallons of water per case of No. 2
cans to a high of 458 gallons of water per case of No.
2 cans. It had been hoped that the returns might de-
velop a constant value for the ratio of water used per
unit of product from which, knowing the total 1953-54
production of both single strength juice and concen-
trate, a fairly accurate estimate of total water require-
ments could be calculated. However, the values for
these ratios were so inconsistent and differed so sub-
stantially from those of Wakefield that it seemed best
to make the calculation in another manner. The 12
plants replying, whose production of concentrate to-
taled 38,110,010 gallons, used 11,489 million gallons
of water or an average of 31.5 MGD. Since this repre-
.sented 54 per cent of the 1953-54 production of concen-
trate, the total production for that year would have re-
quired on the same basis 58.3 MGD. Similarly, the
11 plants replying, whose production of No. 2 cans
of single strength juice totaled 22,657,250 cases,
used a total of 1,356 million gallons of water or an
average of 3.7 MGD. Since this represented 57 per
cent of the 1953-54 production of single strength juice,
the total production for that year would have required
on the same basis 6.5 MGD. The sum of the two
yields a total of 64.8 MGD for the two types of plants.
It is important to note that this amount of water is

used in a production season averaging perhaps 175-
200 days, but the figures have been reduced to millions
of gallons per 365 day-year in order that they may be
compared with similar totals for other industries and
other types of use.
Since there are in Florida a large number of small
industries and some of substantial size which have not
been included in the above tabulation, it is necessary
to add an increment for water used by these industries.
With little or no specific data on which to base such
an estimate, a figure of 20 MGD has been used. It
might be either much lower or much higher than that
amount. It is believed that this figure is extremely
Table IV presents the estimated industrial use of
water in Florida for 1955 based upon the foregoing
discussion and calculations. The total is found to be
400 MGD.
Estimated Industrial Use of Water in Florida, 1955
Type of Use MGD
Pulp and paper 200
Citrus processing 65
Phosphate industry 115
Other unspecified 20

III. Use of Water for Irrigation
During the past decade Florida farmers have real-
ized that irrigation pays substantial dividends in in-
creased crop yields. Irrigated tobacco has shown yields
of from 1700 to 2600 pounds per acre as against the
state's average of 1250 pounds per acre. Furthermore,
irrigated tobacco brings a higher price per pound than
the state average for the same grade.
The number of irrigated farms in Florida has
doubled in the last ten years-from 3800 in 1944 to
7600 in 1954. Today there are 3000 acres of irrigated
corn in the state as compared to none ten years ago;
more than 7000 acres of tobacco are irrigated, in 1944
none was irrigated. Nearly 230,000 acres of truck farm
land have additional water supplies as compared to
125,000 a decade ago; 161,000 acres of citrus are now
irrigated, four times the 1944 total. Improved pastures
under irrigation have increased from 10,000 acres in
1944 to 75,000 acres at present.
Best estimates of present use of water for all agri-
cultural purposes is 525 MGD. This represents a
total of 191 billion gallons per year or 7 million acre-
inches. It is estimated that by 1970 farmers will con-
trol the total of 3400 million gallons per day, equiva-
lent to the total annual usage of 1250 billion gallons
or 46 million acre-inches. This is more than six times
present use. Much of this water control will be ac-

complished with two-way structures, that is, structures
that can be used interchangeably for drainage or irri-
gation. However, the use of overhead irrigation sys-
tems will increase greatly during the next 17 years. The
additional irrigation of about 600,000 acres of fruit
and nut crops will call for the application of an ad-
ditional 6 million acre-inches of water. More intensive
irrigation of field crops will expand the volume of
water utilized by about 7 million acre-inches. The es-
tablishment and improvement of pastures will call for
the application of approximately 26 million acre-inches
of water. By controlling an additional 39 million acre-
inches of water by 1970, it will be possible for farmers
to utilize fertilizer more effectively, and by doing so,
obtain larger crop yields of better quality agricultural
commodities. The data for use of water for irrigation
were supplied by the Department of Agricultural
Economics, Agricultural Engineering, and Agronomy
of the College of Agriculture, University of Florida.
IV. Summary
Table V summarizes all the data which have been
presented. It seems worthwhile, in conclusion, to com-
pare these data with corresponding data for the nation
as a whole which have been shown in Table I. When
this is done striking differences immediately become
apparent. The estimated national increase in water
use by municipalities for the 25-year period 1950-75
is 50 per cent whereas the estimated increase in the
use of water in Florida from municipal and rural use
for the 20-year period 1950-70 is 146 per cent. The
estimated increase in use of water in the United States
for irrigation during the 25-year period 1950-75 is
25 per cent, whereas the estimated increase in water use
for irrigation in Florida during the 20-year period
1950-70 is 549 per cent. In these two use categories,
therefore, the predicted increases for Florida far ex-
ceed those for the nation as a whole.
On the other hand, the estimated increase in in-
dustrial water use in the United States in the 25-year
period 1950-75 is 170 per cent, whereas the correspon-
ding figure for Florida has been set at only 75 per cent.
It is without question the most conservative of the
three estimates and this may appear inconsistent in
view of what has been said with respect to the probable

industrialization of the state. On the other hand, signs
are not lacking that the more highly developed tourist
areas of the state will have a tendency to look with
little favor upon or even actively oppose the coming of
new industries, if they are of a type which might
present problems of either air or water pollution.
Within the past year the City of Fort Lauderdale suc-
cessfully resisted the efforts of an oil refinery to locate
in that city. This is understandable because after all
the tourist industry is Florida's major industry and
source of income. Gross tourist expenditures in Florida
in 1954 were estimated at $991 million and during
1955 may, for the first time, equal or exceed $1 billion.
Furthermore, although Florida has ample water re-
serves to attract new industries requiring large volumes
of water in their operations, the relatively high cost
of power and lack of local sources of fuel will con-
tinue to act as moderating factors in many instances.
Unquestionably, the discovery of oil or gas or both in
substantial volume in the state could and probably
would rapidly change the industrial picture. At the
present time, however, it seems best to adopt a reason-
ably conservative attitude, keeping in mind the fact
that the relatively low predicted percentage of increase
for water use by industry might be changed by devel-
opments which cannot now be foreseen.
Whether the figure of 292 per cent correctly repre-
sents the overall increase in water use in Florida dur-
ing the next 15 years or whether some other figure
would be better, it seems quite clear that the increase
will be very large. In the case of Florida's towns and
cities, it represents hundreds of new wells, completely
new sources of supply for some towns and cities, thou-
sands of miles of new water mains, substantial ex-
pansion of existing treatment plants, and the adoption
of treatment by a number of cities where treatment is
not now practiced. Florida municipalities are faced
with a very real challenge in keeping abreast of these
new demands which are sure to present themselves
during the next 15 years. Similarly, the various Fed-
eral, state, and institutional research agencies are faced
with the necessity of providing the basic data neces-
sary for such expansion and the various enforcement
agencies will be called upon to face and to solve an
ever increasing number of problems-old and new.

Water Requirements in Florida
1950-55 Withdrawals 1970 Withdrawals

Type of Use MGD % of total MGD % of total % increase
Municipal and rural --- 325 26 800 16 146
Direct industrial ---- 400 32 700 14 75
Irrigation .---- 525 42 3400 70 549
TOTAL --_--. 1250 100% 4900 100% 292%