Title: Florida's Water Resources Report to the Governor
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00004983/00001
 Material Information
Title: Florida's Water Resources Report to the Governor
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: Florida Water Resources Study Commission
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: Jake Varn Collection - Florida's Water Resources Report to the Governor (JDV Box 40)
General Note: Box 30, Folder 1 ( Florida Water Resources Report to the Governor - 1957 ), Item 1
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00004983
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


A Study of the Physical, Administrative, and Legal Aspects
Water Problems and Water Management

Report To The
Governor of Florida and The 1957 Legislature
by the
Florida Water Resources Study Commission
Gainesville, Florida December, 1956


AN ACT declaring the water policy of the state; cre-
ating and establishing a water resources study com-
mission to conduct a study and report its findings
and recommendations to the next regular session of
the Legislature; providing an appropriation; and
providing an effective date.
Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of
Section 1. The following are declared to be policy
of the State of Florida:
(a) Waters in the state are a natural resource.
(b) 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 comprehensive utilization and protection of the
(c) The changing wants and constantly increasing
needs of the people of the state may require the water
resources of the state to be put to beneficial uses to
the extent of which they are most reasonably capable
and therefore the waste and unreasonable use of water
should be prevented and the conservation of water
should be accomplished.
(d) The public welfare and interest of the people
of the state require the proper development, wise use,
conservation and protection of water resources to-
gether with the protection of land resources affected
(e) The state should make a careful and compre-
hensive study before enacting any legislation affecting
the matters heretofore stated in this Act.
Section 2. There is created a water resources study
commission consisting of seven (7) members which
shall conduct a study into the matter of implementing
by legislation the water policy of the state as declared
in this Act. Among other things, the commission is
directed to determine whether or not there is need for
a comprehensive water law in the state administered
by a board and, if so, the extent of the jurisdiction of
the board, the details of the operation thereof, the ex-
pense of operating the board as compared to the sav-
ings anticipated to be effected and the benefits to be
received, the relationship of the board to other state
agencies and the effect on the various interests in-
Section 3. The members of the water resources
study commission shall be appointed as follows: two
(2) shall be appointed by the president of the Senate
from the membership of that body; two (2) shall be
appointed by the Speaker of the House of Represen-
tatives from the membership of that body, and three
(3) shall be appointed by the governor from the state


at large. The governor shall- designate one of the
members of the commission as chairman.
Section 4. The water resources study commission in
cooperation with the state geologist is charged with the
responsibility of studying data from other existing
state agencies and additional data which may appear
necessary and informative from such other sources as
shall be available to the commission. All other state
agencies are directed to cooperate by providing any
available information requested by the commission.
Public hearings should be held throughout the state.
Representatives of interests affected, including in-
dustrial, agricultural, municipal and recreational in-
terests should be consulted by the commission. The
study shall be completed and the commission shall
report its findings and recommendations to the Legis-
lature not later than sixty (60) days before the con-
vening of the regular legislative session of the year 1957
and on June 30, 1957, the duties, responsibilities and
authority of the commission shall terminate and the
commission shall cease to exist.
Section 5. The water resources study commission is
authorized to engage technical and clerical assistance,
purchase supplies and equipment, authorize traveling
expenses and make such other expenditures as may
be necessary or desirable in making the study and re-
port. Members of the commission shall serve without
compensation but may receive a per diem and a travel
allowance commensurate with that provided generally
for employees and officials of the state, provided that
such per diem and travel allowance shall be allowed
only when necessary in fulfilling duties as members of
the commission. For the biennium beginning July 1,
1955, the sum of forty-eight thousand eight hundred
dollars ($48,800.00) is hereby appropriated out of the
general revenue fund of the state to defray the ex-
penses of the commission in making the study and re-
Section 6. The water resources study commission is
authorized to receive and use in the conduct of this
study and the making of this report any tunds, con-
tributions, donations, gifts or grants of money in ad-
dition to any funds that may be made available to it by
the Legislature of the State of Florida or the Congress
of the United States.
Section 7. This Act shall be liberally construed and
if any word, phrase, paragraph, section or provision
of this Act shall be held void or inoperative or un-
constitutional, such holding shall not affect the re-
mainder of this Act.
Section 8. This Act shall take effect immediately
upon becoming a law.
Approved by the Governor, May 30, 1955.
Filed in Office Secretary of the State, May 31, 1955.




FrR 2-1i4M





To the Governor of Florida, and to the 1957 Florida Legislature:

We, the members of the Florida Water Resources Study Conmission, transmit herewith
the report, "Florida's Water Resources," prepared by the Commission and its staff,
as directed by Chapter 29748 of the 1955 State Legislature. The report is based
on a study of the physical, administrative and legal aspects of water problems and
water management in Florida.

The Conmission respectfully requests your consideration of the findings, conclusions
and broad recommendations contained in the report in regard to need for a compre-
hensive water law in the state.

A supplemental report presents the Commission's suggestions for implementation, by
legislation, of the basic water policy declared by the 1955 Legislature.

Respectfully submitted,

Byron E. Herlong, Chairman

mes A. Ball, Jr., Vice-Chairman

B. W. Helvenston, Jr.

Doyle E. Carlton, Jr.

H. B. Douglas

Roy les

Harry W. W stberry



Florida Water Resources Study Commission

Director and Staff

Education Committee

Local Water Problems
Local Water Problems


Ground Water

Drafting Committee

Fact-finding Committees

Water Law

Surface Water

Water Use and Needs

Water Pollution

Land Use ,

Water Quality




Act Establishing the Commision .-..-..---.. ....--- ...... ...- ............................-............ ...... ... -.......- II

Letter of Transmittal -. --.. ------........... ......... ........... ------------........-..------...... ....- -...-....-......... III

Study O organization --.....-................-..............--............... .......... ...............................-....--.................----.. IV

Table of Contents --........-----.......----..-..-........--- ..-...-..............-... ..-.------....-- .-------....-----.............--.---- V

List of Illustrations ...--- --. ---. -... ---------...- ...-......-------- _---------- --- ---.----_ ------_ VI

List of Tables ....--........---........................... .... .........................-----------------.............--- -- VII

Introduction -----..----.........--......................................--------........................------------............................................. VIII

Acknowledgements ... --............... -.................-...................-.................. -......._... ...................................- X

i. W ater Problems of Florida ................ .-....... .... ........._.... ...........-....................._............ I

2. Existing Water Laws of Florida ..........--....--....-----......--...-- .........._........-............................-....._ 5

3. Facts About Florida's Water Resources --....-....-----..............--..-.... .............----------- ...-....-- ... 17

Climatology ....------..... ..............- ...-...............-- ..----------------- -- ... .......--- ........------ .. 17

Surface W after ......_--...- .... ......-.... -----.......... ........-...-...............--.....................-.................. 23

G round W after ... ...................................................... ................. ..................................... 33

Water Use and Needs -.. --...................-------------- --....-.-.......----------.. --.......................-........ 49

W water Quality ...............-....---..... -------... --... --...--.................- .. -. ---..........................----------- .... 58

W after Pollution .-..-......--....-..- .... .. .... ....... ........--------------.... ...........................-- .. .... ............----- 62

Land Use .-.........-------............-----.--.-----.......-..... ....-...-.-...... .._... ...-------...........---. 67

Beach Erosion ..-..--.......-....--- ......---- .-- ........-- ...--...... .------...-...... ..................................-....... 71

Topographic Mapping ..........-....-..~.-...- .......-----............................. ----...........---..-- 73

4. Present Water Resources Programs -..........---.........-- .. -- ----.-----............--....--.....................-- 75

5. Findings and Conclusions .......----..-......----- ..----------------.... --.. .--.... ...--.-- .---.. ..------.- 87

6. Recommendations ..................................----. .. ....----------.............. --------............ ----..--.... 90


List of Illustrations

Figure Page
1. The Hydrologic Cycle ---..... -----.---......-......... ...... ..................... ....... ... _--- -....-. 18
2. Rainfall Stations of Which Records are Published .---........------.. --................--- 19
3. Climatological Division of Areas Contributing to Florida's Water Resources .......--... 19
4. Maximum, Median and Minimum Monthly Rainfall by Divisions ..-.........-------.......--. 20
5. Rainfall Distribution in Inches-1953 --.............------.....-----------..... -------........ 21
6. Rainfall Distribution in Inches-1954 ......-----------.---------------------............................ 22
7. Rainfall Distribution in Inches-1955 ----.. ---..................--. .... .......------ --....... ............ 22
8. Monthly Rainfall and Potential Evapotranspiration (Estimated from Solar
Radiation) at Miami 1952 through 1955 ....................--------------------.----.....-------............................ 23
9. Normal Discharge of the Kissimmee River near Okeechobee --------....-....... ----------..-- 24
10. Normal Discharge of the Shoal River near Crestview ...------..--................--............... 24
11. Month-End Elevations of Selected Lakes in Florida .--...-.... -----------.-------.. 25
12. Flow of the Kissimmee River near Okeechobee, 1930-1956 ----..--.........--- ..----.--.--.. 26
13. Flow Chart Showing Average Flows of Surface Streams -------...--........---.. ..-------- 27
14. Flow Chart Showing Average Discharge for Month of March, 1944 ...---........-.............-. 28
15. Flow Chart Showing Average Discharge for Month of October, 1953 -----------------. 29
16. General Areas Subject to Periodic Inundation .---------......... ........---.----......-...----.....---- 29
17. Number of Farm Water Storage Structures by Counties ......---......----------..- ..........- 30

18. A Farm Water Storage Structure Under Construction .....----......---------------...------....... 31
19. Major Drainage Basins and Daily Discharge Stations in Florida July 1, 1956 ..........-- 32
20. Geological Cross Sections through Florida ...--.......----.------- ---..---.--.-- 34
21. The Piezometric Surface of the Floridan Aquifer and Areas of Probable
Artesian Flow .-----.........-.....................-..----....-- --------..... .. -............ ..---...-....................... 35
22. Ground Water Zonation -. --..--..............-....----......- .-----.....-----..-.--..---........ 6-............ 36
23. Principal Source of Ground-Water Supplies by Areas .-----....-.......-....----... ----...----. 37
24. Cone of Depression and Interference Wells .----.........-...-----....-. .....-----------..-.----. 39
25. Water Level Fluctuations in Floridan Aquifer Wells .....-----....---... .--------------. 41
26. Changing Water Levels in Floridan Aquifer Wells ...-------.............-- ..-... .------.-----.. 42
27. Changing Water Levels in Areas of Heavy Ground-Water Pumpage-- ................ 43
28. Artesian Pressures Have Declined in the Jacksonville Area ...-..-...........-- .----...... ---- 44
29. Changing Water Levels in Water-Table Wells and Cumulative Departure from
Normal Precipitation, South Florida .--.............. ......... .-..-.....- .....- ..............-----......--.- ..- 45

Figure Page
30. Changing Water Levels in Water-Table Wells and Cumulative Departure from
Normal Precipitation, North Florida .............--------------. ........._._..-_......__._ 46
31. Ghyben-Herzberg Principle of Salt-Fresh Water Association --------..-......------.----- 47
32. Known Areas of Salt-Water Intrusion .....-------------.....-........--.........---......--- .......----- 48
33. Areas of Ground-Water Investigations during 1956 ---------....-----_ ..._ 48
34. Areas Where Ground-Water Reports Are Available .---.....-...-...-..---....--...-.....----.- .... 48
35. Location of Observation Wells ..----.........-....-- ....--..-................-..........---........--- ............----...-- 49
36. Water Control Operations on a Celery Field in Marion County .--------...............--..----. 50
37. Population Growth of Florida ----................................------ ..--- ..--...... ----..-...............---.---- 52
38. Federal Navigational Projects Completed or Under Construction on
January 1, 1955 ..........---------..................... -.....................--...- _.. ...._--.... .. ..................... 55
39. Quality of Water Stations in Florida-August, 1956 .--.....-.---...--------....... .... -----..... 61
40. Relation of Water Quality to Discharge, St. Johns River near DeLand, Florida-1948 62
41. Status of Sewage Disposal in Florida-1956 ........--.....-...-..--_..----- _...........------- 64
42. Locations of Major Industrial Operations .-..--.-----......---...-......................-- ..--.-- .. ---.......... 65
43. Drainage Well Locations .-----.....-......--_-__._-..... ..........------- -.............-.-..........-.- .....- 67
44. Wind Erosion in Gilchrist County --......-.-.-- _.---.----------....-... .-._- .......__.--.___-. 68
45. Erosion Damage at Jacksonville Beach-1956 -------..-.............--...--.......--..... 72
46. Areas Mapped by the U. S. Geological Survey Through July 1956 ...-........_. ....... 74

List of Tables
I. Summary of Water Problems- 1956 ....---.................-------...-...-...-..............--.............--.-- ---- 28c3
2. Driest and W ettest Years, 1931-1955 --.......... ---...................-......... ................---- ....---- -- 21
3. Comparison of Past and Present Flows from Selected Springs in Florida --...----. ----- 27
4. Flow of Selected Rivers of Florida -..-- ---..----------_----- ... ..---------- 33
5. Land Irrigated in Florida-1956 ..--..---............................................---------------.......-- 51
6. Summary of Water Use in Florida-1956 .--............---..-..--........................................--------- 57
7. Hardness of Delivered Water of Selected Public Water Supplies in Florida-1950 -..... 59
8. Land Use in Florida-1955 -- ..-......-..........-..-.......... ........................------- .......--------......-.....-.--- 69
9. Functions of Local, State and Federal Agencies in Florida's Water Resources ..--...---. 85


Florida first evidenced state-wide interest in 1~er
water resources in 194,1. Late that year Governor Hol-
land and Governor-elect Caldwell appointed a citizen's
committee to study Florida's fresh-water situation, and
to frame proposed legislation embodying corrective
measures. Under the able chairmanship of Mr. Frank
Holland, the committee held a series of fact-finding
hearings in the state and submitted its report to Gov-
ernor Caldwell in 1945. A proposed bill was drawn
and submitted to the 1945 Legislature. The bill failed
enactment, but the 1947 Legislature established the
Water Survey and Research Division within the State
Board of Conservation to function as the state agency
responsible for matters on the conservation of water
and the control of floods.
The 1955 Legislature dissolved this agency and
turned its files over to the Florida Geological Survey.
At the instance of the then Governor Nominee, the
Honorable LeRoy Collins, a citizen's water problem
study committee was organized on September 29, 1954.
This committee, under the outstanding chairmanship
of Mr. J. Abney Cox, held several fact-finding meet-
ings and reported to Governor Collins on March 1,
1955. As a result of that report Senate Bill No. 377
was submitted to and adopted by the 1955 Legislature.
The act declared, for the first time, a water policy for
the state of Florida.
The act also recognized the need for an over-all
evaluation of the water resources of Florida, and for
this purpose the Florida Water Resources Study Com-
mission was created.
Shortly thereafter, the Commission was organized
and commenced to outline its program. Commission
members felt that a survey was essential to determine
the problems which local users were experiencing day-
by-day in attempting to put water to beneficial use.
They felt that it would be desirable to have problem
inventories made in each county of the state. The
Commission undertook early in 1956 to form a water
problems committee in each county in order to obtain
this information. Committee co-chairmen were se-
lected in each county and letters were written to them
explaining the need for an inventory and its purpose.
The co-chairmen in tuin determined a time and a
place for each county committee meeting, and issued
invitations to everyone in the county to attend and
participate in the committee operation.
More than 130 co-chairmen gave freely of their
time in organizing and conducting the county studies,
often with considerable sacrifice of time and money.
In all, over 1,300 people attended and participated
in the local water problems inventories.

In most of the counties,-those active on the com-
mittee represented most or all major fields of water
use. They included representatives of several state
organizations, and state and federal agencies concerned
with water use, businessmen, farmers, lawyers, in-
dustrialists, professional men, and others.
By mid-July, the county inventories had been com-
pleted and reports were received from every county
in the state. All recorded problems that have or may
have legal, administrative, or economic implications
were then extracted from the reports and summarized.
The county committee reports disclosed what is
thought to be a fairly typical cross section of the state's
water problems, and are so considered by the Com-
mission. The inventory brings together for the first
time important data in regard to problems local users
are experiencing in attempting to use water bene-
A second major Commission operation was that of
organizing a Committee on Water Law. This com-
mittee was organized under the auspices of the Florida
Bar for the purpose of undertaking a study of the ex-
isting law of Florida as it pertains to water resources.
This work was accomplished by a thorough investiga-
tion of the case and statute law of Florida and the
federal law which affects Florida's water resources.
The committee compared the results of the legal study
with the need indicated by the Commission's inven-
tory of local water problems in order to determine how
well the existing law is geared to meet these problems
and needs and what gaps and defects exist in the
present legal picture. The committee also served as
the Drafting Committee.
A third operation of the Commission was that of
investigating and reporting on the water resources
programs currently in operation. This section of the
Commission's study outlines the authority and the
program of operation of the various local, state and
federal agencies operating in the water resources field
in Florida. The results of this phase of the Com-
mission's operations reveal those water resources which
are subject to management by an existing agency as
well as the areas in which no management is practiced.
Another Commission activity of considerable im-
portance was that of establishing several state-wide
fact-finding committees. These are committees on
Water Use and Needs, Water Quality, Climatology,
Surface Water, Ground Water, Land Use, and Water
Pollution. As the committee names imply, each com-
mittee was asked for data on a state-wide basis from
the technical and engineering viewpoint, so as to ob-
tain in integrated picture of the complex water re-

sources story in the state. Membership of the com-
mittees was obtained by invitation to all known or-
ganizations and agencies in the state whose interests
lie in the respective fields of committee work. Forty-
four organizations responded to the invitations by
designating one or more individuals to represent them
on the committees.
Finally, a Committee on Education was organized
to disseminate the information gathered by the Com-
mission. Preliminary reports from the state-wide fact-
finding committees were then submitted and reviewed
by the Commission.
The information obtained from the operations de-
scribed heretofore were used by the Commission to
determine the apparent needs of the state insofar as
its water resources are concerned. These needs were
summarized in the form of tentative findings, conclu-
sions, and broad recommendations. This material was
then taken to the people of Florida and discussed at
public hearings held in Miami, West Palm Beach,
Fort Myers, Tampa, Pensacola, Tallahassee, Jackson-
ville, and Orlando. Suggestions and comments on the
tentative recommendations were received from a num-
ber of interested persons who appeared at the hearings.
At the termination of the public hearings the Com-
mission finalized its report and recommendations in
the light of all information it had received. The re-
port is respectfully submitted to the 1957 Legislature

in accordance with instructions issued to the Com-
The Commission's approach to the study of water
problems in Florida, that of asking committees to
search out facts, each in regard to a particular cate-
gory of water problems or aspects of water manage-
ment, facilitated organizing and directing the work of
bringing together necessary background data and in-
formation. It also facilitated the actual research it-
self. Furthermore, the Commission feels the proce-
dure resulted in a broader and more authoritative
coverage of pertinent facts about Florida's water re-
sources than could have been obtained by any other
method in the time available.
However, there is a danger in studying the several
elements of a broad problem separately. An under-
standing of each does not necessarily insure a full
grasp of the whole. This is especially true of water
resources, where physical, administrative and legal
aspects are so closely interrelated.
For that reason, the Commission suggests that the
reader give careful attention to the findings and con-
clusions at the end of the report. They represent an
attempt to set out important points in regard to the
physical, administrative and legal aspects of the over-
all problem which have significant bearing on the de-
velopment, use, conservation and protection of water
resources of the state in the interest of all the people.


The Florida Water Resources Study Commission 'wishes to express its sincere appreciation to the many in-
dividuals who served so ably on its fact-finding and other committees and to the several local and state organiza-
tions and institutions and state and federal agencies which assigned personnel to serve on the committees. Or-
ganizations, institutions, agencies, and groups assisted the Commission in other ways, also.
Members of the various committees, and their affiliations, are listed below:

W. A. Baum,
S. E. Asplund
J. IP. Clawson

D. E. McCloud
K. D. Butson
- A. O. Patterso
H. W. Hiser
L. A. Farrer
- J. S. Telfair
A. L. Danis
U. S. Allison

- A. O. Patterso
B. F. Buie
C. J. Counsel
W. J. Eichelbe
T. C. Skinner
- Angelo Tabita
R. L. Taylor

H. R. Wilber,

SR. O. Vernon,
W. P. Still
M. I. Rorabau
SN. D. Hoy
ST. B. Jenson
B. F. Buie
A. M. Buswell
- C. A. Black
P. H. Shea
E. C. Weichel

Committee on Climatology

Meteorology Dept., Florida State Univ.
Meteorology Dept., Florida State Univ.
Central & Sou. Fla. Flood Control
Agri. Experiment Sta., Univ. of Fla.
U. S. Weather Bureau
*n American Water Works Assn., Fla. Sect.
Weather Radar Lab., Univ. of Miami
Corps of Engineers
Florida Engineering Society
Engr. & Ind. Exp. Station, Univ. of Fla.
Amer. Soc. of Agri. Engrs., Fla. Section

Committee on Surface Water
U. S. Geological Survey
Florida State University
nan Game & Fresh Water Fish Comm.
rger Am. Soc. of Ag. Engrs., Fla. Section
Am. Soc. of Ag. Engrs., Fla. Section
Corps of Engineers
Central & Southern Florida Flood Control
M.D. Florida Wildlife Federation

Committee on Ground Water

Florida Geological Survey
Florida Geological Survey
gh U. S. Geological Survey
U. S. Geological Survey
Florida Engineering Society
Florida State University, Geology Dept.
S University of Florida, Chemistry Dept.
American Water Works Assn.. Fla. Sect.
U. S. Corps of Engineers
Jr. Associated Industries of Florida

Committee on Water Use and Needs

T. L. Maxwell,
- W. T. Wallis
W. H. Morse
J. M. Myers

David B. Lee
J. B. Miller
Don I.uethy

SF. A. Eidsness
\. H. Turner

Fla. Assn. of Soil Cons. Dist. Suprvs.
Florida Engineering Society
Florida Engineering Society
Agri. Expt. Station & Fla. Sec., Am. Soc.
Ag. Engrs.
Florida State Board of Health
Florida State koard of Health
Stale Game & Fresh Water Fish
American Water Works Assn., Fla. Sect.
Associated Industries of Florida

A. T. Lohkamp
L. E. Dequine, Jr.
R. B. Lee
E. C. Weichel, Jr.
U. S. Allison
H. R. Wilber, M.D.
J. H. McMurry
R. E. Choate
L. G. Thomas
George Hack
R. M. Ingle

Associated Industries of Florida
associatedd Industries of Florida
associated d Industries of Florida
Associated Industries of Florida
U. S. Soil Conservation Service
Florida Wildlife Federation
Dept. of Geography, Fla. State University
Dept. of Agri. Engr., Univ. of Fla.
Florida Farm Bureau
Florida Development Commission
State Board of Conservation

Committee on Water Quality

Eugene Brown,
a J. \W. Wakefield
J. B. Miller

J. M. Pearce
W. M. Beck, Jr.

U. S. Geological Survey
Florida State Board of Health
Florida State Board of Health and Florida
Engineering Society
Chemistry Dept., University of Florida
Florida State Board of Health

Committee on Water Pollution
L. A. Young,
Chairman U. S. Public Health Service
David B. Lee Florida State Board of Health
SJ. W. Wakefield Florida State Board of Health
H. R. Wilber, M.D. Florida Wildlife Federation
M. T. Huish Game & Fresh Water Fish Commission
- J. E. Kiker, Jr. Florida Sewage & Industrial Wastes Assn.
J. H. McMurry Florida State Univ., Geography
Luther Jones State Chamber of Commerce
R. M. Ingle State Board of Conservation
W. T. Webster Associated Industries of Florida
E. C. Weichel, Jr. Associated Industries of Florida
E. R. Farwell Florida Farm Bureau
A. T. Lohkamp Associated Industries of Florida

Committee on Land Use
L. G. Thomas,
Chairman Florida Farm Bureau
0. C. Lewis U. S. Soil Conservation Service
W. A. Hunt Fla. Assn. of Soil Cons. District Suprvs.
M. O. Watkins Agricultural Extension Service
\V. K. Mclherson Agricultural Experiment Station, Univ.
of Fla.
F. P. Lawrence Agricultural Extension Service
W. H. Morse Central & Southern Fla. Flood Control
T. E. Hancock Am. Soc. Ag. Engrs., Fla. Sect.
II. F. Brubaker Dept. of Geography, Fla. State Univ.
R. E. Choate Dept. of Agriculture Engrg., Univ. of Fla.
J. M. Myers Dept. of Agriculture Engrg., Univ. of Fla.
C. R. Walker Florida Farm Bureau

Committee on Water Law and Drafting Committee

F. E. Maloney,
S. A. Bayitch
R. H. Hunt
G. E. Owen
R. D. Tylander
W. E. Arnow

R. W. Rutledge,
Luther Jones
H. F. Becker

J. K. Ballinger
Fred Jones
Milton Plumb
J. F. Cooper
H. L. Crawford
J. R. Weddell
J. L. Weaver
McGregor Smith

















The Florida Bar
The Florida Bar
The Florida lar
The Florida Bar
The Florida Bar
The Florida Bar

Education Committee

Florida Citrus Mutual
The Belle Glade Herald
Florida Resources Use Education
The Lakeland Ledger
The Tampa Tribune
Agricultural Extension Service
Florida Development Commission
Florida Forestry Assn.
American Cyanamid Co.
Florida Power and Light Company

of Local Water Problems Committees

M. M. Bryant
H. W. Bethea

J. J. Crews. Jr.
C. Rhoden
Aubrey Green

O. E. Hobbs
H. L. Berkstresser

Z. W. Hamilton
J. R. Wainwright

J. V. D'Albora, Jr.

J. C. Stephens
G. B. Hogan, Jr.

W. A. Savell
J. D. Fuqua

E. O. Friday
H. L. Hobbs

Reuben Hair
Louis Connell

J. P. Hall
Roy Saunders

J. T. Gaunt
W. H. Turner

David Maxwell
J. B. Stuart

F. D. R. Park
William Graham

D. S. McKay
George Smith













Hal Chaires
J. C. Welch
A. C. Skinner, Jr.
Norris Farnell
J. F. Marques, Jr.
Crawford Rainwater
R. F. Tucker
A. B. Johnston
H. G. Brown
J. A. Shuler
T. L. Maxwell
J. A. Smith
Jack Rowell
Ralph Taylor
Stacy Quincey
Ralph Wood
Broward Daniels
T. S. Coldeway
Clyde Brogden
A. C. Hogan
B. W. Hill
Irven Locklar
Emil Causey
W. C. Owen
J. R. Spratt
G. M. Nunn
Cecil Bishop
Elgin Bayless
J. L. Ingle
F. H. Moody
A. B. McMullen
Dr. J. J. Vara
B, W. Saunders
E. E. Carter
S. N. Smith, Jr.
Glen Holley
R. L. Price
J. B. Shuman
Wilmer Bassett
B. F. Thomas
Marvin Jackson
W. D. Conkling
Lacy Thomas
F. J. Wesemeyer
P. G. Franklin
J. Y. Humphress
W. J. Boynton, Jr.
H. W. Arrington
Wardell Fugate
E. M. Cook
W. H. Gunn
Eugene Mugge
P. S. Cantey







Indian River
















S. A. Revell
I. E. Council


G. C. Valentine
A. Prine

Boyd Williams
1). H. Oswald

(. F. Boyd
1.. M. Johnson

Bernie Papy
J. P'. Goggin

T. T. Ford
J. L. Irvin
T. E. Brooks
Alex Clemmons

G. E. Bryant, Jr.
J. 0. Pearce, Jr.
G. E. Snow
Al Whitmore

J. R. Gunn
C. C. Partin

H. C. Gee
George Wedgworth

A. T. Lohkamp
J. F. Higgins

C. M. Phillips, Sr.
H. R. Wick
SA. V. Saurman

J. H. Peterson, Sr.
G. W. Mann, Jr.
Paul Hayman

B. J. Alderman
Louis Broer
Graham Lee
A. B. Campbell
W. A. Dun
L. H. Kincaid

Clayton Mapoles
John Malone

G. F. Higgins
C. K. S. Dodd

B. L. Carter
W. W. Linz
R. E. Word
W. O. Tate
J. L. McMullen
Loran Terry
J. C. Yarborough. Jr.
Royce Agner
Page McGill
S. A. Bryan
E. W. Brown
J. E. Sixma

J. D. Wooten, Jr.
M. O. Warren, Sr.

R. T. Yates
EIuless Walford


Many individuals rendered valuable assistance by
participating in county water problems inventory
meetings or by assisting in many other ways, for which
the Commission is deeply grateful. Although it is not
possible to give credit to everyone who helped, the
Commission acknowledges the many contributions of
the following: G. A. Hadd for managing the Com-
mission's temporary office in Tallahassee; Dean Joseph
Weil for donating office space and facilities in the
College of Engineering; Robert Gregg, G. B. Hurff,
D. E. McCloud, F. E. Maloney, W. K. McPherson, and
A. M. Buswell for their guidance and counsel to the
Commission's Director; Dean H. A. Fenn for donating
use of facilities in the College of Law; Per Bruun and
his Coastal Engineering Laboratory staff for contribu-
ting the material on beach erosion; Mrs. Charlotte
Wilds and Mrs. Mary Durrance for their devotion to
the Commission's work; Miss Rachel Albertson for
help in editing the report manuscript; C. T. Hender-
son and Miss S. E. Cooksey, Attorney General's Office
for help in drafting the legislative proposal; Robert
Carlile, Steve McAliley, Sheldon Plager, and Dewey
Villareal for their help in the water law study. Dr.
Herman Gunter and Dr. Robert Vernon of the Florida
Geological Survey furnished great help and advice
throughout the Commission's life, and C. E. Busby and
J. A. Johnson, U. S. Soil Conservation Service, gave
unsparingly of their time to assist the Commission in
its organizational efforts and in analyzing and pre-
senting the information contained in this report.
The press and radio rendered assistance in num-
erous ways, including excellent cooperation in publi-
cizing the inventory meetings and public hearings.

Dr. David B. Smith, Director, coordinated the
study and assisted in preparing and publishing the
report. Professor Frank E. Maloney coordinated the
legal study and wrote Chapter II of the report.

Representation of organizations, institutions and
agencies on fact-finding and other committees does not
represent an endorsement by them of conclusions and
recommendations contained in the report except as
the conclusions and recommendations have been or
may be approved by the organizations, institutions and




Palm Beach




St. Johns

St. Lucie

Santa Rosa








Water Problems Of Florida


Toward the end of 195-1, the Florida Association of
Soil Conservation District Supervisors asked soil con-
servation districts to sponsor local water problem in-
ventories at the county level. Inventory meetings were
held in most counties covered by soil conservation
districts. In many cases farmers, agency and organiza-
tional representatives, and business and professional
people were asked to participate in the studies of day-
by-day problems experienced by local users in at-
tempting to put water to beneficial use. More than
60 inventory reports were sent to the Association.
Some 350 problems were cited in the reports. They
included problems of damage caused by excess water,
damage caused to water itself by pollution or silt and
other debris, and problems arising out of attempts to
put water to beneficial use. These data have been
made available to the Florida Water Resources Study
Commission and have proved very helpful to the
Commission and a number of its fact-finding com.


The 1954 surveys were conducted only in those
counties in soil conservation districts, and most of
the problems reported were related to agricultural
use of water.
When the 1955 Florida legislature established the
Florida Water Resources Study Commission, the mem-
bers felt that a new and broader survey of local water
problems would be beneficial in an over-all study of
the water resources of the state. The Commission also
felt that it would be desirable to have reports from
all counties and was hopeful that industrial, mu-
nicipal and recreational users could be encouraged to
participate more fully in the new studies.
Accordingly, a water problems committee was
formed in each county in April, 1956. Two or more
committee co-chairmen were selected in each county
and letters were written to them, explaining the need
for an inventory and its purpose. A suggested guide
for conducting the local study and a uniform reporting
system was distributed to each county committee for
use at its discretion.

Those present at the county inventory meetings
represented most or all major fields of water use. They
included in many cases representatives of state or-
ganizations and state and federal agencies concerned
with water use, businessmen, farmers, lawyers, in-
dustrialists, professional men, legislators and others.
By mid-July reports had been received from the 67
counties in the state. All but two counties reported
occurrence of several types of problems.
No attempt was made to tabulate the number of
individual problems reported in the 1956 studies be-
cause counties did not follow a uniform procedure in
this regard. Some evidently made an effort to record
as many individual problems of a given type as pos-
sible, while others indicated occurrence in relative
terms-"many times," "few times," "major problem,"
"minor problem," or similar expressions.
A tabular summary of problems is given in Table 1.
Each x indicates that from one to many problems of a
given type had occurred in the county. A few counties
reported that because of local conditions a given
problem probably would occur in a few years, al-
though it had not as yet been encountered by local
users. These are indicated by an x, also, and cannot
be distinguished in the tabular summary from actual
occurrences. It will be noted that a few problems were
reported under a miscellaneous heading. They repre-
sent problems which did not seem to fit under one of
the other headings.
In the 1956 inventories, county committees con-
sidered water problems under seven main headings.
Later, in order to simplify summarization of county
reports, problems reported under two of the headings
were reclassified under one or more of the other five
The five headings are: I. Diffused Surface Water;
II. Streams, Lakes and Canals; III. Ground Water;
IV. Tidal Waters; and V. Miscellaneous.
Diffused surface water refers to that portion of sur-
face water resulting from rain before it reaches and
becomes part of a natural watercourse with well-
defined banks and beds. Ground water means water
under the surface of the earth in the ground-water
table or in underground aquifers.
A number of subheads were included under each
main heading except the last.


ObLtructions Canals Obstructions & Obstructlons Improving Water Level tien of Use of Polls- Beach Peilu-
and and Drainage Ponds Diversion* of & Diversione Streams Control in Surface Surface Wells Spriang tien & Shore ties
Diversolns Ditches Streams & Lakes in Canals Canals Lakes Waters Waters Erosion

I... I J r a

Bay x x x x x -x x xx x x x x x x x x x x

Bradford x x x x x x x x
Brevard x x x x x x x x x x

Broward x x xxx x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
SClhoun x x x x x x x

Charlotte x x x x x x x x x x x
Iwo I 9 I

CiOruN x x x x x x x x x

Clay x x x x x x x x x
Collier x x x x x x

Columbia x x xx x x x x x x x x x x x x
Dade x xx xxx x x x x x x x x x x x x
DeSot x x x x x x x x x x x

Dixie x x x x x x
D x x x xx x xx x n e
..bla x x x x x x x x x x x x x

larr x x x x x x

Frankn. x x x x x x
Gadsden x x x x x x

Gilchrist x x x x x x x

Glady x x x x x x x x x x x
Gulf x x x
Bamiltond x xx x x x
HBarde x x xx x x x x x

Chndry x x x x x
Charlotte x x I x x x x x x

Hrnando x x x x x x x

Hirhlaynds x x x x x x
Cllsbor h x x x x x x x
Columbia x x x x : x x x x x x x xx -
Dade x Xx x x x x x x z x x x x x I x x x x
DeSoto x x x x x x x x Ix x x-
Dixie x I x x x x
D x. x x a x x x x x x

Flagfler x x x x
Frankly, x x x I x x x I I
Gadsden x a x x x x x
Gilchrist x x x x x x X
Glades x a xx X xx x x x I
Gulf I x I a
Hamilton I 1 x x x x x
Harder II x x x x x x
Hendry x x x x
Hernando x x x x a x x x x
Highlands x

Hillsharough x x x I x

Holmas x xx x xx x ax x
ndian River x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
Jackson x x x x x
Jelerson x x x x x x x x
Lafayette x
Lake xx x x x x x x x x

Lee x x x x x x x x x x x x
L.eon x. xx x x x x a a
Levy x x x x x x x x

Madison r x x x x x x x
Manatee x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

Mart x x x x x x x x
Marti> x x x x x x x x x x x x x x -x
Nassau x x
Okaloosa x x x x x x x.

Okeechobee x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x
Orange x x x x x x x x x x
Palm Beach x x x x x x x x x x
'Pasco x x 1 x 1 1x x x x x
Pinella x x xx x x x x x x xx x
Polk x x x x x x x x xx x Ix x
Putnam x x x x x x x
St. Johns x x x x x x
St Luele x x x x x x x x x x x x x
Santa Ros x x x x x x x x x x
Saras xx x x x x x x x x
SeminAt x x x x
Sumter x x xx x x
Suwannee x x x x x x x

Taylor x x x x x x x
Union x x x x x x x
Volusia x x x x x
Wakulla '**

Walton x xx x x x x x x x x x

Washlngton x x x x X x x

x-Indicates at least one problem reported.
*-Included In Calhoun County inventory.
*"Included in Dade County Inventory.
***-No problems reported.


The county water committee reports represent what
is thought to be a fairly typical cross section of the
state's water problems that have or may have legal,
economic, or administrative implications. No assump-
tion is made that the reports constitute a full and final
catalog of such problems in Florida.
But the current inventories-those conducted in
connection with our study of water resources, and the
inventories sponsored in 1954 by the soil conservation
district supervisors-bring together for the first time
important data in regard to problems local users are
experiencing in attempting to use water beneficially.
It is common knowledge that in Florida we have
been plagued from our earliest history by problems
arising from excess water. At first, problems of flood-
ing were most common. Later, as the economy of the
state expanded, problems of removing excess water-
drainage-from agricultural and other lands and as a
health measure assumed greater importance.
Problems of those types will continue in the future
in some localities, as is indicated by both studies; al-
though considerable progress has been made in Florida
in combating flood problems and providing needed
drainage facilities.
Problems arising from attempts to put water to
beneficial use were relatively unimportant a few years
ago, but are now becoming increasingly more common.
Both studies emphasize this fact, but it is strikingly
revealed in the recent study. In the 1956 inventories
problems of use were reported by many counties (see
Table 1).
Both the 1954 and 1956 studies clearly point up the
fact that problems of use are becoming common and
are likely to become increasingly so in future years,
especially in certain communities. Both studies also
indicate that problems of development, use, conserva-
tion and protection of our water resources vary in
combination from area to area in the state.

Results of the inventories were. suminarized, both
in narrative form, under the title "Report of the
Florida Water Resources Study Commission's County
Committees on Water Problems," and in tabular form,
under the title "Summary of Data on Water Prob-
lems." Space will not permit presenting the full nar-
rative summary here, but copies are on file in the Com-
mission office for future reference. The tabular sum-
mary is reproduced in full, Table 1.


Local water problems as reported by the several
county water problem committees and the over-all
summary of those problems served several useful pur-
poses in connection with the over-all study..
First, as has been said earlier, they formed a fairly
representative cross section of those problems water
users are encountering day by day in attempting to
put water to beneficial use.
This cross section served as a partial basis upon
which to determine from the state-wide water re-
sources studies whether local water problems of the
types reported are likely to continue and grow in im-
portance. It also helped to indicate the need for var-
ious remedial measures. And, incidentally, the study
cf state-wide water resources data in relation to cur-
rent problems served to accentuate new or more com-
plicated problems which are likely to arise in the
years ahead.
The cross section of local water problems, and the
analysis of these problems in light of state-wide data,
served in part as a basis for determining whether exist-
ing water law is adequate to meet present and future
needs in regard to development, use, conservation and
protection of Florida's important water resources in
the interest of all the people.
Also, the cross section helped emphasize areas of
important need-both as to types of problems and to
geographical location- in regard to efforts to bring
about a modernization of existing law.


Existing Water Laws Of Florida

As an introduction to an exposition of the present
water law of Florida, it is important to understand the
basic differences between the eastern system of water
law, sometimes referred to as the riparian system, and
the western system, commonly known as the prior ap-
propriation system. The riparian system as originally
developed, and still followed in some eastern jurisdic-
tions, holds that lower riparian owners are entitled to
the full flow of a watercourse, so that upper riparian
owners may not alter the flow of such a watercourse,
except to make use of the water for purely domestic
purposes. This rigid and antiquated system has been
modified in many eastern jurisdictions by what is
known as the reasonable use doctrine, under which a
lower riparian owner is entitled to protection only
when diversions by upper riparian owners unreason-
ably interfere with his use of the water. This modi-
fication allows upper riparian owners to make bene-
ficial use and diversions to the extent that these do
not unreasonably interfere with the beneficial use of
The western, or prior appropriation, system allows
both riparian and nonriparian owners to appropriate
the right to use as much water as they can successfully
divert and beneficially employ, provided their appro-
priation is prior to that of others, in which case they
gain rights, on a sort of first-come first-served basis,
which may extend to complete appropriation of the
available supply. Florida follows the riparian system
with the reasonable use modification, insofar as water
from surface watercourses, including lakes and ponds,
is concerned. Most western states apply the prior ap-
propriation doctrine to ground water as well as water
from surface watercourses. Miny eastern states apply
what is known as the English Rule, based on the con-
cept that he who owns the surface owns to the center
of the earth, and consequently has an absolute right
to withdraw all of the percolating water that he can
from his subsurface holdings, without regard to the
effect on adjoining owners. Some eastern stateson the
other hand, have applied the reasonable use doctrine
to around water as well as surface water. Under this
doctrine, no limitations are placed on tle qiiantity ol
water to be taken so lon- as the use is reasonable, and
made in connection with utilization Iv' the owner o
the surface;_,j it if the water is to be transferred to

other land, the transfer wil be prevented if the with-
drawal is detriental to a neighbor's extraction and
use olf is own preises. As we shall see, Florida is
seemingly committed to this reasonable use modifica-
tion bot1Tas to ground' waters aind water from surface
With this general background, we will now under-
take to analyze the water law of Florida, first as to
surface water in streams and watercourses, including
man-made channels and lakes and ponds, which are
treated in separate subdivisions; secondly, as to dif-
fused surface water; and thirdly, as to ground water.
The extent to which the laws of Florida recognize the
interrelationships between these different categories of
water will be pointed out in the following section.
Next will come a brief presentation of the techniques
of acquiring water rights in Florida. The concluding
section will offer suggestions for modernization of
Florida's water law to maximize the beneficial use of
water in Florida and prevent waste and unreasonable
use of this most important resource.


The definition of a natural watercourse in Florida
has developed in connection with problems of drain-
age, rather than in terms of use of such water. The
most important case in this connection is Davis v. Ivey~
in which the Supreme Court of Florida was concerned
with the extent to which a railroad in traversing a
natural watercourse must make provisions for the
passage of water through or under its right-of-way.
In this case the court adopted the following definition
of a natural watercourse:
"A natural water course is a natural stream bed
having bottom and sides in which water usually
flows in a defined bed or channel. It is not es-
sential to constitute a natural water course, that
the flowing should be uniform or uninterrupted.
The other elements existing, a stream does not
lose its character or cease to be a natural water
course because in time of drought the flow may
be diminished or temporarily suspended. It is
sufficient if it is usually a stream of running
193 Fla. 387, 112 So. 264 (1927).

The court went on to hold that the railroad must
provide passageway for (low like that which occurred
from the heaviest preceding rain. Parenthetically, the
case leaves unanswered a common problem in Florida'
today. Often when a railroad or road is constructed,
sufficient passageway is left for a volume of water like
the heaviest from preceding rain, but due to the im-
proved drainage of surrounding land which is later
brought under cultivation, the quantity of water, even
from smaller rains, is such that it cannot adequately
pass through the passageway provided and flood dam-
age results to owners upstream from such passageway.
In the absence of any legal solution to this problem, it
is impracticable in some areas of Florida to expand
water control and drainage systems upstream of such a
A riparian owner is entitled to deepen a natural
watercourse in order to drain his land better, provided
such deepening results only in collection of additional
surface water.2 Such a watercourse can also be used
for disposal of industrial waste water to the extent the
stream is capable of carrying off such water without
harm to lower riparian owners.3
There is considerable law dealing with the defini-
tion of riparian land, but this law is concerned pri-
marily with the method of acquiring title to land
abutting on natural watercourses, rather than the
amount of land on which water from such water-
courses.can be used. This leaves a serious gap insofar
as the problems of irrigation are concerned, since,
under the riparian doctrine, water from natural water-
courses can be used only to irrigate riparian land, and
under one approach a tract of land detached from a
riparian tract and no longer touching on a stream loses
its riparian status, and additions of inland tracts do
not make such tracts riparian. A more liberal ap-
proach would allow the riparian owner to increase
his riparian land in this way, while confining such
riparian land to that within the watershed of the
stream involved.
The Supreme Court of Florida has recognized a
number of important rights as stemming from riparian
ownership. Thus in Ferry Pass Inspectors' and Ship-
pers' Association v. Whites River Inspectors' and Ship-
pers' Association* the court states:

"Among the common law rights of those who own
land bordering on navigable water, apart from
right of alluvion and dereliction, are the right of
access to the water from the land for navigation
and other purposes expressed or implied by law,
the right to a reasonable use of the water for do-
mestic purposes, the right to the flow of the water
without serious interruption by upper or lower

riparian owners or others, the right to have the
water kept free from pollution, the right to pro-
tect the abutting property from trespass and from
injury by the improper use of water for naviga-
tion or other purposes, the right to prevent ob-
struction to navigation for an unlawful use of the
water or of the shore or bed that specially injures
the riparian owner in the use of his property, the
right to use the water in common with the public
for navigation, fishing and other purposes in
which the public has an interest."

The court has since further stated:

"These special rights are incident to the riparian
holdings and are property rights that may be
regulated by law but may not be taken without
just compensation and due process of law."5

There is a considerable body of law concernifig the
means by which riparian ownership can be acquired.
In the case of a non-navigable watercourse, the bed
of the watercourse is subject to private ownership and
can be acquired by grant or conveyance. In the case
of navigable streams, on the other hand, the riparian
owner, in the absence of legislation, owns only to the
high watermark, meaning apparently the highest
point on the bank of the stream where the water in
ordinary years leaves its mark on the vegetation or
bank. The state in its sovereign capacity holds title
to the bed of navigable waters, including the land
between high and low watermarks,6 except in cases
where Spanish land grants specifically included such
submerged land. The Florida Legislature has con-
ditionally vested in riparian owners on navigable
streams the title to submerged land from the edge of
the channel to the high watermark, the condition
being their permanent improvement.7
From the viewpoint of this study, the most impor-
tant right of a riparian owner is the right to make
use of the water. There is very little general law in
Florida dealing with consumptive use of water from
2Edason v. Denison, 142 Fla. 101, 194 So. 342 (1940); cf. Bray
v. Winter Garden, 40 So.2d 459 (Fla. 1949).
3Bray v. Winter Garden, supra note 2.
457 Fla. 399, 48 So. 643 (1909).
Mliroward v. Mabry, 58 Fla. 398, 410, 50 So. 826, 830 (1909); See
Thicsen v. Gulf, F & A Ry., 75 Fla. 28, 78 So. 491 (1918) (state-
nments and holding to the same effect).
6St. Anthony Falls Water Power Co. v. St. Paul Water Comm'rs,
108 U.S. 349 (1897); Shively v. Bowlby, 152 U.S. I (1893); See
also Hardin v. Jordan. 140 U.S. 371 (1892); Fox River Paper Co.
v. Railroad Coimm'n, 274 U.S. 651 (1927); Appleby v. City of New
York, 271 U.S. 364 (1926). But see Apalachicola Land and
Development Co. v. McRae, 86 Fla. 393, 98 Sd. 505 (1923) (pos-
siblc exceptions re Spanish Land Grants).
;FLA. STAT. c. 271 (1955).

natural watercourses, but what there is indicates an
adoption of the reasonable use modification of the
natural flow doctrine." There are provisions in the
Florida statutes for erection of dains for power pur-
poses, a nonconsulmptive use," but there is as yet no
legislation concerning the erection of such dams for
irrigation or other consumptive purposes. In periods
of drought such as the state is presently experiencing,
numerous practical problems exist as a result of the
erection of such irrigation dams. The possibility of
injunctive relief against such diversions may be limited
by the balance of convenience doctrine, by which other
courts have restricted the use of such injunctions where
the complaining party is not being substantially in-
jured because he has no reasonable use for the water
being divei ted.'"
In an important case in 1927 the Supreme Court of
Florida indicated that floodwaters from natural water-
courses, being of no substantial benefit to a riparian
owner, "may be appropriated by any person who can
lawfully gain access to the stream, may be conducted
to land not riparian, and even beyond the watershed
of the stream, without the consent of the riparian
owner and without compensation to him."" In Ken-
tucky about half of the irrigators apparently use this
method of acquiring irrigation water, and this Florida
case may provide the legal basis for the collection and
storage of excess flood waters in the Central and
Southern Florida Flood Control District. Considera-
tion should be given to reinforcing the dictum of the
court by a legislative declaration of policy concerning
such flood waters. Federal laws provide for the sale
by the Secretary of Army of surplus waters collected
in this way,'2 indicating that insofar as the federal
view is concerned riparian owners have no rights to
such excess water.

Navigability and Governmental
Powers Resulting Therefrom
Watercourses in Florida are navigable as far up as
they may be conveniently used at all seasons of the year
by vessels, boats, barges and other watercraft for pur-
poses of commerce. Generally what constitutes a navi-
gable river is a question of fact to be determined by
the natural conditions in each case. If the stream has
sufficient volume of water to float to market products
of the country, it is navigable, and even if it is so
shallow as to be suitable only for floating of logs, it
comes within the definition."' The essence of the
definition seems to be that the watercourse must be in
fact capable of navigation for useful public purposes.
Such a capability, however, need not be for continuous
navigation, and the court has held that a lake may be

navigable even though at times large portions of it are
completely denuded of water and used for harvesting
crops, provided that in its ordinary state it is navi-
gable." The existence of meander lines in original
surveys is an indication of navigability, but in the
final analysis the real test is whether the watercourse
is navigable in fact."- Under this definition the Florida
court has indicated that the watercourse must in its
natural state be capable of sustaining navigation with-
out artificial improvement. If, however, a part of the
stream is navigable without artificial improvement,
the improvement of upper reaches of the watercourse
by artificial means extends navigability to such areas.'0
Federal power in relationship to navigation stems
from the Commerce Clause of the United States Con-
stitution. The test of navigability for federal pur-
poses, as for state purposes, is "Is the watercourse
navigable in fact?" The federal cases seem to go fur-
ther than the state cases in holding that a stream will
be classed as navigable in a federal sense if by arti-
ficial aid it can be made suitable for navigation, even
though it is not navigable even in part, before such
artificial improvement." Federal power extends not
only to the navigable portions of such watercourses
but also to the non-navigable upper reaches to the
extent that diversions there would interfere with navi-
gation in the lower reaches."
A determination that a watercourse is navigable in
the federal sense does not strip the state of .its pro-
prietary control over the bed of the watercourse, but
does give the federal government considerable power
to control the use of the water. Since practically all
of Florida's navigable watercourses are accessible from
other states, Congress has power to legislate concerning
them, and Congress has asserted jurisdiction over the
streams in the Central and Southern Florida Flood
sTampa Waterworks Co. v. Cline, 37 Fla. 586, 595, 20 So. 780,
782 (1896). The court said, "The right to the benefit and advan-
tage of the water flowing past one owner's land is subject to the
similar rights of all proprietors on the banks of the stream to
the reasonable enjoyment of a natural bounty, and it is there-
fore only for an unauthorized and unreasonable use of a common
benefit that any one has just cause to complain."
oFla. Laws 1903, c. 5198, now FLA. STAT. 1361.02 (1955).
'"Peabody v. City of Vallejo, 2 Cal.2d 351, 40 P. 2d 486 (1935);
Collier v. Merced Irrigation Dist., 213 Cal. 554 2 1'. 2d 790 (1931).
"Tilden v. Smith, 94 Fla. 502, 113 So. 708 (1927). (Dictum
based on a California case.)
1258 STAr. 887, 890 (1944) as amended 33 U.S.C. 708 (1952).
::Bucki v. Cone, 25 Fla. 1, 6 So. 160 (1889).
'Broward v. Mabry, 58 Fla. 398, 50 So. 826 (1909).
'ILord v. Curry, 71 Fla. 68, 71 So. 21 (1916).
loOp. Att'y Gen. Fla. 055-157 (1955).
1United States v. Appalachian Electric Power Co. 311 U.S.
377, 407 (1940) (dicluml).
1tUnited States v. Rio Grande Dam and Irrigation Co., 174
U.S. 690 (1899).

Control District for flood control purposes on this
Congress may assume jurisdiction over navigable
streams for the purpose of developing power, even
though the latter purpose alone would not justify con-
gressional intervention. The Jim Woodruff Dam is an
example of this type of exercise of federal authority.
Moreover, Congress has legislated for the prevention
of soil erosion on the basis that such erosion into navi-
gable rivers will interfere with navigation. It is on
this basis that the activities of the U. S. Soil Conserva-
tion Service are justified. This legislation has cul-
minated in the recently enacted Watershed Protection
and Flood Prevention Act,'" popularly known as the
Small Watershed Act, under which federal aid is
given for flood control in watershed areas not exceed-
ing 250,000 acres.
Drainage and Other
Water Management Legislation
The police power and the power to act for the
general welfare set forth in the Florida Constitution
provide justification for numerous Florida drainage
laws. The most important of these is the General
Drainage Act of 1913,20 authorizing the formation of
drainage districts on approval of the circuit courts of
the state.
The legislature has also provided for drainage by
counties,21 and for drainage of swamps and overflow
lands upon petition of the board of county commis-
sioners of any county.22
In addition, special legislation has been enacted for
numerous counties in the state creating many types
of special districts affecting water use and control.
These include drainage districts, inlet districts, im-
provement districts, mosquito control districts, navi-
gation districts, water supply districts, and irrigation
and soil conservation districts. A few of these districts,
such as the Central and Southern Florida Flood Con-
trol District, are multipurpose districts, but most are
limited to a single objective such as drainage, and
these limitations are now creating considerable diffi-
culty when the districts wish to undertake a different
objective, as, for example, irrigation by drainage dis-
Legal problems arising from damage to natural
watercourses or interference with other common law
rights of riparian owners are not covered in detail in
these acts, and this omission may lead to difficulties in
the future, particularly since units such as drainage
districts are generally looked upon as instrumentalities
of the government and hence partake of governmental
immunity from tort actions for damage done by

Pollution Control Legislation
Enforcement of pollution control legislation in
Florida has been largely vested in the state board of
health. Its most important weapon is the Pollu-
tion of Waters Act of 1913.24 This act forbids any de-
posit of deleterious substances in the waters of the
state if such substances are "liable to affect the health
of persons, fish or livestock." The statute covers pol-
lution of lakes and ground waters as well as streams.
Enforcement of this law is placed under the super-
vision of the state board of health. On its face the
statute seems broad enough to prevent all undesirable
pollution of Florida's streams, but the act has no pro-
visions for injunctive enforcement-criminal penalties
only being provided for its violation. The number of
complaints concerning industrial pollution in the 1954
and 1956 state-wide problems inventories would in-
dicate that this law as it presently exists is ineffective.
In an apparent effort to plug this loophole, the state
board of health in 1955 obtained an amendment to
the chapter enumerating the general powers of the
board.'2 This amendment gives the board the power
"to enjoin and abate nuisances dangerous to the health
of persons, fish, and livestock." This amendment may
prove helpful to the board in its pollution control
Two other general laws, an act26 dealing with
waste from mines and the new County Water System
and Sanitary Financing Act,27 authorize boards of
county commissioners to seek injunctions against cer-
tain types of pollution.
In connection with pollution control by state au-
thorities, there are two Florida special acts28 that
should be commented on. By these acts Nassau and
Taylor counties are declared to be industrial counties
and the acts state that it is in the interest of the public
that industry be empowered to discharge sewage, in-
dustrial and chemical wastes into the tidal waters of
Nassau County and into the Fenholloway River and
the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, into which the
Fenholloway River flows. If attacked, the legislation
might well be held unconstitutional on the ground
that it deprives the riparian owners on these waters

19(8 STAT. 666 (1954), 16 U.S.C. 1001-07 (Supp. Ill, 1956).
-oFLA. STAT. c. 298 (1955).
21FLA. STAT. c. 157 (1955).
-2SFI.. STAT. c. 156 (1955).
2-sRabin v. Lake Worth Drainage District, 82 So.2d 353 (Fla.
24FLA. STAT. c. 387 (1955), enacted as Fla. Laws 1913, c. 6443.
2'FI.A. STAT. 381.031 (4) (b) (1955).
rFLA. STAT. c. 533 (1955).
-7FLA. STAT. c. 153 (1955).
:-Fla. Spec. Acts 1941, c. 21415; Fla. Spec. Acts 1947. c. 24952.

of property rights without compensation in violation
of the state and federal constitutions.


If a man-made channel has been constructed with
the intention of using it permanently, and it has been
used consistently with this intent for a considerable
period of time, the channel will probably fall ip the
classification of a natural watercourse and the law
stated in the previous section dealing with such water-
courses will be applicable to it.-2
Assuming the channel does not fall into the classi-
fication of a natural watercourse, water in such a chan-
nel is not ordinarily subject to the usual rights of ri-
parian ownership. Lands submerged by non-navigable
waters are subject to private ownership, and if, as a
result of dredging, the waters are rendered navigable,
the submerged land and waters apparently remain pri-
vate property,:' and the rights of an abutting owner
would not be characterized as riparian.
Insofar as use of water from artificial channels is
concerned, the law in Florida has not been settled,
except perhaps in the case of waterways under the
jurisdiction of the Central and Southern Florida Flood
Control District. The legislature has expressly given
the district power to regulate both the discharge into
and the withdrawal from waterways within its juris-
diction.3' There is considerable legislation in Florida
dealing with the construction of canals. This legisla-
tion in general stems from the provisions in the state
constitution authorizing the legislature to provide
for drainage of land of one person over or through that
of another upon just compensation.32 Most of this
legislation looks toward the solution of problems
caused by too much water rather than too little. There
are provisions for the use of drainage district canals
for irrigation as well as drainage,33 but this legislation
does not seem to address itself to the use of the water
from the canals but rather provides for the use of the
canals themselves to lead water into as well as out of
the districts. There is little or no case law interpreting
the canal legislation.
The 1956 problem inventory has indicated a weak-
ness in the canal legislation in that it provides few
if any controls limiting construction of canals or the
filling in of previously constructed canals, even when
these activities injuriously affect neighboring lands.

Consideration of the Florida laws governing lakes
and ponds is made somewhat more difficult by lack of
a judicial or legislative-definition of the terms lake and

pond. As defined elsewhere, the term lake is usually
taken to mean a reasonably permanent inland body of
water substantially at rest in a depression in the sur-
face of the earth. Some jurisdictions distinguish be-
tween natural lakes and artificial lakes made by dam-
ming or diverting of streams, but it is not clear
whether the Florida court would recognize such a dis-
tinction. Lakes are distinguished from ponds pri-
marily because of their greater size. Legally the dis-
tinction is important only when the lake is of such
a size as to be considered navigable. In general the law
governing non-navigable lakes extends to and includes
If a lake is non-navigable it is susceptible to private
ownership. Whether the individual lake bottom is
owned privately or by the state is another matter. The
1953 Legislature decreed that submerged lands of any
nonmeandered lakes shall be deemed subject to pri-
vate ownership if they were conveyed prior to 1903
by the Trustees of the Internal Improvement Com-
mission without reservations for public use and have
been taxed to the owner since that time." Apparently
conveyances even after 1903 will have the same re-
sult under another section of the same legislation. A
determination of navigability is therefore of great
importance insofar as the law of lakes is concerned.
When is a lake navigable? If it has sufficient volume
of water to float products to market it is navigable as
in the case of streams and watercourses. This is true
even though it is so shallow it is suitable only for the
floating of logs, and even though at times large por-
tions of it are denuded of water, so long as in its
ordinary state it contains water of sufficient depth for
such floatage.35 In an effort to clarify the situation as
to small lakes the legislature has provided that lakes
conveyed to private individuals by the United States
or the state of Florida prior to 1953 will be considered
Assuming a lake to be navigable, the land appur-
tenant to it is classed as riparian land, and one who
owns land bordering on such a lake is considered a
riparian owner, providing that his title extends to
the ordinary high watermark on the lake. The so-
called riparian acts, under which an owner who im-
proves the land between high watermark and the
channel on a navigable stream gains title to such land,
"*See Stimson v. Brooklinc, 197 Mass. 568, 83 N.E. 893 (1908).
AoClement v. Watson, 63 Fla. 109, 58 So. 25 (1912). Op. Att'y
Gen. Fla. 055-157 (1955).
3aFLA. STAT. 378.01 (3) (1955).
32FLA. CONsr., Art. XVI, 28.
;1See, e.g., Fla. Spec. Acts 1925, cc. 10589, 10682.
:i4Fla. Laws 1953, c. 28262, now FLA. STAT. 271.09 (1955).
33Broward v. Mabry, 58 Fla. 398, 50 So. 826 (1909).
Sa6FI.A. STAT. 271.09 (1955).

do not extend to lands on lakes in Florida, but only to
lands on streams, bays of the seas, and harbors.
Use of Lakes
If a lake is non-navigable, its waters are subject to
private ownership, and consequently those who own
the surrounding land may not only exclude nonowners
from the lake, but may also make such withdrawals as
they see fit, providing all the owners can agree on these
withdrawals. But if such an agreement cannot be
reached, withdrawals cannot be made so as to work a
detriment to others owning land on the same lake."7
In the case of navigable lakes, the court has indi-
cated that riparian owners may prevent the lowering
or raising of the water beyond the natural limits of
low and high watermarks.3* The 1954 and 1956 prob-
lem surveys indicate numerous instances of individual
action resulting in lowering of water levels, and this
problem has become more serious during the current
drought. As yet, however, no cases have reached the
supreme court.
In addition to the common law right to prevent the
lowering of a lake beyond the low watermark, the
legislature has prohibited the drawing of water from
lakes of greater area than two square miles so as to
lower the level of such lakes without the written con-
sent of all owners of property abutting upon the lake.39
Turning to recreational uses such as bathing, fishing
and boating, the distinction again must be made be-
tween navigable and non-navigable lakes. There are
no Florida cases determining the rights of owners of
lake-front property on non-navigable lakes among
themselves. This matter could stand clarification, as
some jurisdictions allow each owner to boat, bathe,
and fish all over the lake, while others have allowed
an owner to fence off his part of the lake and exclude
others from it. But if the lake is navigable, as are most
of Florida's important recreational lakes, all riparian
owners and members of the public as well have the
right to use the entire lake for recreational purposes.

As in the case of so many important terms in the
field of water law, apparently neither the Supreme
Court of Florida nor the legislature has so far at-
tempted to define diffused surface waters. They are
generally considered to be waters resulting from falling
rain or those rising to the surface in springs, which
have not yet collected in a lake, pond, or natural water-
course and are still in diffused state or condition. The
owner of the surface is in most jurisdictions entitled
to retain as much of this water as he wishes to use him-
self, and to prevent it from percolating or flowing on

lower land of an adjoining proprictor. Some jurisdic-
tions have imposed a reasonable use limitation on the
ingathering of surface water, but in Florida the possi-
bility of such a limitation has not yet been discussed
by the courts.
The principal diffused surface water problem with
which Florida has concerned itself to date has been
the disposal of such water. There are two opposed doc-
trines in other jurisdictions concerning the disposal of
unwanted diffused surface water. Under the first of
these, the civil law rule, an upper owner has an ease-
ment in a lower owner's land for drainage of diffused
surface water in a natural manner. Opposed to this
is the common enemy rule under which the lower
owner may take any measures to keep the water off his
land, even to the point of turning it back on the land
of the upper owner. The Florida court has not yet
expressly adopted either rule, but the decisions tend
to follow the civil law rule requiring the lower owner
to allow drainage of the upper owner's land.40
The balance of convenience doctrine may be of im-
portance in this connection as a limitation on injunc-
tive enforcement of the civil law rule. This is par-
ticularly true where the common enemy approach is
the practice in an area; for example, in areas of Flor-
ida mucklands it is the custom for each man to protect
himself from the excess surface waters as best he can.4t
The entitlement of an upper riparian owner under
the civil law rule to drain diffused waters over a lower
owner's land has been limited to disposal of waters
which would naturally flow in the direction of the
lower lands. The upper owner is not entitled to gather
waters which would naturally flow in one direction
and divert them in another, unless the waters would
have eventually found their way to the lower owner's
land anyway.42
As a corollary to the right of the upper owner to
drain into a natural watercourse, lower owners on
such drains or watercourses are required to keep the
watercourse clear where it flows through their prop-
erty to prevent the backing up of water on the upper
owner's land.4"
s3Taylor v. Tampa Coal Co., 46 So.2d 392 (Fla. 1950).
:Tilden v. Smith, 94 Fla. 502, 113 So. 708 (1927).
"'1FI.A. STAT. 298.74 (1955).
E.g., Willis v. Phillips, 147 Fla. 368. 2 So.2d 732 (1941); Dade
(:oanty v. South )ade Farms, Inc., 133 Fla. 288, 182 So. 858
(1938); Seaboard All Florida Ry. Co. v. Underhill, 105 Fla. 409,
141 So. 30( (1932).
"Babcock v. Red Cattle Co., 6 Fla. Stupp. 113 (1953).
r'Brumley v. Dorner. 78 Fla. 495. 83 So. 912 (1919). But see
Willis v. Plhillips, 147 Fla. 368. 2 So.2d 732 (1941). (Although
the court denied the injured landowner equitable relief, the
reported decision indicates that a small amount of self-help
would have alleviated the flooding.)

There are a number of Florida statutes which are
concerned in one way or another with the management
of diffused surface waters. Most of them, particularly
the earlier ones, deal exclusively with drainage or dis-
posal of water. The general approach has been to pro-
vide for the creation of relatively small districts for
particular purposes, as for example mosquito control
districts, drainage districts, and distriAts for the re-
clamation of overflowed lands. Recent flood control
legislation, particularly that establishing the Central
and Southern Florida Flood Control District, has taken
a much broader approach through establishing a mul-
tipurpose, as compared with the single purpose dis-
trict. The superiority of this multipurpose district
approach should be self-evident.


The courts have divided ground water into three
categories: (1) underground streams; (2) artesian
waters; and (3) percolating water generally.

Underground Streams
If the existence of a definite underground stream is
established, the law with respect to surface streams,
supra, is applied to the underground stream. Definite
proof of the existence of such a stream, flowing in a
well defined channel, is necessary however, as there
is a legal presumption that ground water is percolating
water in the absence of such proof." This presump-
tion greatly reduces the legal significance of this cate-
gory of underground water.

Artesian Waters
Artesian waters are a type of percolating water
which rise above the top of a water-bearing bed. The
Florida Geological Survey is given power by statute
to determine which of the water-bearing beds in
Florida are a part of the artesian water system of the
Some courts have applied what is known as the
correlative rights doctrine to this type of water. Under
this doctrine, a landowner is limited to that portion
of the available water which is proportionate to the
relationship between the size of his surface area and
that of the area overlying the artesia) water-bearing
beds. This approach has not been adopted in Florida
andany legislative adoption of it would create dif-
ficult problems of administration. The factual studies
reveal that a serious problem in connection with ar-
tesian water in Florida is that of waste due to unregu-
lated flow from artesian wells. General legislation
now exists in Florida, however, under which members

of the Florida Geological Survey and county sheriffs
can take action to prevent this waste.'"

Percolating Waters

As was explained in the introductory section, there
are three legal approaches to the withdrawal of perco-
lating ground water. Under the first of these, the so-
called English rule, the owner of the surface has an
absolute right to withdraw all of the subsurface per-
colating water that he can without regard to the effect
oinadjoining owners. There is some language in
earlier Florida cases which seems to support this view.'4
Most western states take the opposite view, and apply
the prior appropriation doctrine to ground water as
well as the water in surface watercourses. Many east-
ern jurisdictions which originally adopted the English
Rule have replaced that rule with the doctrine of rea-
sonable use which parallels the reasonable use modi-
fication of the riparian doctrine as applied to surface
watercourses. Under this theory, withdrawals of a
surface owner may be limited on a reasonable use basis.
The very recent case of Koch v. Wick4" aliens Flor-
ida with the reasonable use Tou o rates. The court
held that an adoiining landowner was entitled to an
opportunity to show that large withdrawals from a
small tract for use bv the Pinells County waterworks
system were harmful to his land, in which case such
withdrawals would be considered ua aible and
subject to inunctive sanction. It would appear from
tleopinion that if the use to which the water is being
put is reasonable, it need not be beneficial to the over-
lying and, and withdrawals for reasonable uses other
than on the overlying land can be made provided
that such withdrawals are not in fact harmful to ad-
joininggpropertv _owners This constitutes a more
liberal interpretation of the reasonable use doctrine as
applied to ground water than exists in other juris-
dictions where the use must be beneficial to the over-
lying land.

Salt Water Intrusion
The problem of salt water intrusion, discussed on
page 40 of this report, is becoming a serious problem
in many of Florida's coastal areas. Legislative pro-
43E.g., Davis v. Ivey, 93 Fla. 387, 112 So. 264 (1927); Atlantic
Coast Line R.R. v. Hendry, 112 Fla. 391, 150 So. 598 (1933).
44Tampa Waterworks Co. v. Cline, 37 Fla. 586, 20 So. 780
4"FLA. STAT. 370.051 (1955).
46FLA. STAT. 1370.051-55 (1955).
4?Tampa Waterworks Co. v. Clinc, 37 Fla. 586, 20 So. 780
4987 So.2d 47 (Fla. 1956).

vision", for the creation of water conservation districts
to combat salt water intrusion in counties of over
260,000 population should probably be broadened'to
make the formation of such districts possible in all
coastal areas of Florida.


Scientists have long recognized that water moves in
the hydrologic cycle described on page 18. But the
historical development of different legal rules for dif-
ferent "types" of water reveals that the law has been
slow to recognize the interrelationships between what
were considered different categories of water. The
common law recognized four general categories of
water passing over or through lands: (1) surface wa-
ter moving in a natural watercourse; (2) diffused sur-
face water; (3) ground water in distinct underground
streams; and (4) "percolating" ground water. In an
early case the Florida court expressly recognized these
separate categories and also that separate classes of
rights attach to the separate categories.50
A legal approach that treats different "categories"
of water in different ways can create problems for the
future. Some of the stimulus behind the considera-
tion of a comprehensive Florida water law has been
the deficiencies of stream flow and lake levels during
rainless periods in recent years. The stream flow and
water in lakes in such periods are derived chiefly from
ground water, and the state cannot therefore guarantee
water to surface-water users unless it has the power
to control the development and use of water from the
contributing ground-water reservoirs. If the ground
water is considered to be appurtenant to the land and
therefore not subject to any governmental supervision
or limitation as such, the surface-water users will have
no recourse if ground-water development depletes the
flow of the stream, as has occurred in a number of in-
stances in Florida. In the same manner, overdrainage
of diffused surface water either by ditching or drainage
wells may cause a consequent lowering of the ground-
water level over a large area.
While never specifically discussing the interrelation-
ship factor, the Florida court has retreated in a series
of steps from its earlier position of unlimited use of
percolating ground waters to a reasonable use re-
quirement3' similar to that applied to streams and
watercourses. The legislative development in this
area has paralleled that of the courts. Early Florida
statutes, especially those establishing water use and
control districts, were generally worded so that any
one district was concerned with one particular type of

water and usually one type of water problem. But
some of the more recent special acts of the Florida leg-
islature, although limited in geographic range, have
shown a marked tendency toward a broader approach
to water problems, with a concurrent broadening of
the classes of water encompassed..2
The developing legislative and judicial awareness
of the principles of hydrology does not necessitate
abolishing the recognized common law categories of
water. The important factor is that the legislature
and the courts recognize the interrelationship of the
water in the various categories.
The extent to which future legislation is successful
will depend on the extent to which the lawmakers, and
the courts, are uniform in applying the same funda-
mental principles to all water, regardless of the par-
ticular physical state it may be in at the moment.
Whether the basic philosophy is one of reasonable use
under a riparian rights doctrine, or guaranteed use
under a prior appropriation doctrine, the necessity
for a consistent theory applicable to all "classes" of
water is inescapable.


We will now consider the methods, other than by
acquiring riparian or overlying land, by which one
may acquire water rights. In other jurisdictions such
rights may be acquired in three principal ways: (1)
by grant or assignment, e.g., contract or gift; (2) by
adverse use for a prescribed number of years; and (3)
by condemnation.

Acquisition by Grant or Assignment
In Florida waters of a non-navigable lake are sub-
ject to private ownership. If the entire bed of such
a lake is vested in one owner, it would appear that he
could dispose of the waters at his will, and, conversely,
that the right to such waters could be obtained from
the owner by purchase or gift. If the bed of a non-
4:Fla. Laws 1945, c. 22935. The court has indicated that these
districts should be able to exist side by side with drainage dis-
tricts. Coral Gables v. Crandon, 157 Fla. 71, 25 So.2d 1, (1946).
5oTampa Waterworks Co. v. Cline, 37 Fla. 586, 20 So. 780
~lSee Koch v. Wick, 87 So.2d 47 (Fla. 1956); Cason v. Florida
P'ofer Co., 74 Fla. 1, 76 So. 535 (1917).
2See, e.g., Fla. Spec. Acts 1955, c. 30558 (authority given Board
of County Comin'rs, Alachua County, to create sanitary districts
within county): Fla. Spec. Acts 1953, c. 29594 (Fresh Water Con-
servation Board, Volusia County); Fla. Spec. Acts 1955, c. 30927
(authorizes creation of special improvement service districts in
unincorporated areas of Lee County); Fla. Spec. Acts 1953, c.
28935 (Tindall Hammtock Irrigation and Soil Conservation Dist.,
Broward County).

navigable lake is divided so that title is in two or more
owners, one such owner may not, absent agreement to
the contrary, use its waters so as to work a detriment
to the others."' What he may not do himself, he may
not authorize others to do by gift or grant.
Turning next to streams, the bed of a non-navigable
stream is a subject of private ownership, but no Florida
law was found governing the use of the waters of such
a stream. Elsewhere, the use of such water is generally
controlled by the same rules as are applied to use of
water from navigable streams.
Navigable surface water is usually said to be the
property of the public, or of the sovereign in trust
for the public. Riparian owners have rights in such
waters but these rights, although property in the sense
that the owner may not be deprived of them save by
due process of law, do not constitute a property in
the water. As the Supreme Court of the United States
has put it, the right is "usufructuary in character, not
a right to the corpus of the water itself."51
For a time in Florida it was possible for a riparian
owner to sever the riparian rights from the lands bor-
dering on the water,55 conveying the one and retaining
the other, or conveying to different grantees. But since
1953 this has not been possible due to the enactment
of what is now 271.09(1), Florida Statutes, 1955,
which states that "Riparian rights .. are inseparable
from the riparian land." Moreover, since the Supreme
Court of Florida has said that the right of an owner to
use surface water is restricted to uses beneficial to the
riparian land, it seems clear that such an owner cannot
grant to another the right to use water elsewhere than
on the riparian land.
Ground water, on the other hand, could be severed
from the overlying land and sold according to the
early common law. This view is on the wane in this
country. The recent case of Koch v. IVick,56 however,
seems to indicate that in Florida one may acquire the
right to all the ground water he can lift, so long as the
use is reasonable, by dealing with the owner of over-
lying land, and without running afoul of legal restric-
tions, as he would in attempting to acquire rights
to use water from a watercourse by dealing with ripar-
ian owners.

Acquisition by Prescription

The length of time required in Florida for the ac-
quisition of a prescriptive right has been set by the
Florida court at twenty years." While the case in which
this was decided dealt with an access road, presumably
the time period for the acquisition of prescriptive
rights to water would be the same. There are no
Florida statutes pertaining to prescriptive rights, nor

have any cases been located dealing with the acquisi-
tion of water rights by prescription. The possibility of
acquiring water rights by prescription thus is still an
open question in Florida.

Acquisition by Condemnation
Condemnation through eminent domain proceed-
ings constitutes the third technique of acquiring water
rights. The Florida Supreme Court has defined emi-
nent domain as the power vested in the state to take
private property for public use.-"
Limitations on the exercise of' the power of emi-
nent domain as the power vested in the state to take
teenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
and Section 12 of the Declaration of Rights of the
Florida Constitution.' These limitations provide that
no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or prop-
erty without the due process of law and that private
property shall not be taken without just compensation.
The Florida legislature has delegated the right to
exercise the power of eminent domain to municipal
water users:'' as well as to drainage-0 and flood control
districts,61 so that municipal water users have the
power to reach water needed for public purposes,
wherever it may be in the state, through eminent do-
main proceedings.
Agricultural users are not in as secure a position as
are the municipal users. It is as yet uncertain whether
the power of eminent domain can be made available
to irrigation districts in Florida. The key question is:
"Would the district be condemning the rights for a
public use?" Drainage districts serving limited areas
have asserted eniinent domain to acquire rights of way
for drainage ditches and that use has been declared to
be a public one by our court.62 This may augur a
favorable attitude, but whether the court would also
regard irrigation as a public use is as yet unknown.
The present eminent domain law of Florida is least
encouraging from the point of view of the heavy in-
dustrial user whose needs cannot be filled through a
public water supply system. The general legislation
and the court decisions do not seem to manifest any
concern over problems of this type of user, and it
53Taylor v. Tampa Coal Co., 46 So.2d 392 (Fla. 1950).
54United States v. Gerlach Live Stock Co., 339 U.S. 725, 745
5sCaples v. Taliaferro, 144 Fla. 1, 197 So. 861 (1940).
5687 So.2d 47 (Fla. 1956).
-Zetrouer v. Zetrouer, 89 Fla. 253, 103 So. 625 (1925).
54State v. Jacksonville Terminal Co., 41 Fla. 377, 27 So. 225,
237 (1899).
:5FLA. STAT. 361.0-1 (1955), 180.22 (1955).
""FLA. STAT. 298.22 (1955).
iFLA. STAT. 378.16(1) (1955).
ouWilton v. County of St. Johns, 98 Fla. 26,.123 So. 527 (1929).

seems extremely doubtful that the legislature could
constitutionally authorize the use of eminent domiun
for such uses.
Perhaps the recognition of the desirability of large
private industry by the people of the state, manifested
by a constitutional provision empowering political
subxlivisions of the state to assert the right of eminent
domain for the limited objective of securing water
rights for favored industries, would provide a solution
to the water problems of such users.


In the past Florida, along with most eastern states,
has periodically had temporary excess of water, so that
her problems have been problems of disposal rather
than problems ggoerningwater use. With the tre-
mendous increase in Florida's population, problems
of irrigation, pollution, and salt water intrusion in
coastal areas, compounded by several years of drought,
have led to a re-examination of the Florida system of
water law. Changes obviously should be made in the
law so that the water resources of Florida may be put
to the most beneficial use of which they are reasonably
capable, and so that waste and unreasonable use may
be minimized.
The answers to these problems must be sought
through the medium of one of the two fundamental
systems of water law. One possible approach is
through the appropriation system of water law ad-
herred to by 17 western states. A second approach
would be to preserve insofar as possible, the existing
riplarian system as developed by present statutes and
case law, but with such modifications as may be neces-
sary to maximize the beneficial use of this imnnrtant
A number of eastern states in the past five years
have considered adopting the prior appropriation sys-
tem. Legislation has been proposed in South Carolina,
North Carolina, Mississippi, Arkansas, Michigan, Wis-
consin, and Georgia.63 Mississippi recently adopted the
appropriation system,64 and Virginia considered and
rejected it.65
Among the reasons why the majority of these states
have exhibited caution concerning the appropriation
system is its tendency to freeze the initial pattern of
water allocation. The appropriation of entire stream
supplies for irrigation in a number of western states
has prevented industrial development which could
produce far more wealth for the state per unit of
water used than does the highly consumptive use of
water for irrigation. This is especially true in arid
areas. As one authority has put it, "unless some ad-

justments are worked out in western law, western states
will seriously restrict theii own economic and in-
dustrial growth."66
The solution for the east is not necessarily the dras-
tic legal change from the riparian system to the sys-
tem of prior appropriation. The very fact that the
change would be such a drastic one would create
political as well as legal difficulties in obtaining pas-
sage of such legislation. This is undoubtedly one of
the factors that has caused the appropriation bills to
fail or be withdrawn in North and South Carolina and
An additional factor which would militate against
a change to prior appropriation in Florida is that
Florida, like a number of other eastern states, seem-
ingly regards riparian rights as property rights even
though such rights are not being actually used at the
molent.61 Traditional recognition of these rights
gives riparian lands in Florida a value which they
would not possess in an appropriation jurisdiction. A
change to an appropriation system, under which all
water is necessarily owned by the state in its sovereign
capacity, would destroy the additional investment of
riparian purchasers represented by such rights. Such
a destruction, if attempted without compensation for
each riparian owner, might well be held to constitute
a taking of private property without just compensa-
tion and to violate both the Florida and the United
States Constitutions.6s The seriousness of this prob-
lem has been pointed out in a number of recent
s6Ellis, Some Current and Proposed Water-Rights Legislation
in the Eastern States, 41 IOWA L. REV. 237. 242-54 (1956);
Law, Univ. of Ga. 1955).
6sAdvance Sheet 10, General Acts of Miss. 1956, H.B. 232.
OF VIRGINIA 6 (1955).
6*Engelbert, Political Aspects of Future Water Resources
FOR FREEDOM 86 (1952) (Paley Comm'n Report).
6-Koch v. Wick, 87 So.2d 47 (Fla. 1956); Tilden v. Smith, 94
Fla. 502, 113 So. 708 (1927); Broward v. Mabry, 58 Fla. 398, 50
So. 826( 1909); Op. Att'y Gen. Fla. 056-113 (1956).
tion, 1956); Marquis, Freeman, and Heath, New Water Rights
Laws for the Tennessee 'alley, 23 TENN. L. REV. 797, 828-31
(1955); Ellis, Some Current and Proposed Water-Rights Legis-
lation in the Eastern Slates. -I41 owA I.. REV. 237, 260 (1956);
Agnor. Riiparian Rights in thie Souiltheastern States, 5 S.C.L.Q.

The working solution in the west has been to make
more of the supply available at the time and place
where it is needed. As one western authority has put
"We know that the unrestricted use of the doc-
trine of prior appropriation has led us into
trouble the answer is to. hy new institutions
and new development, bring in supplemental
water. Sometimes we can do it simply by storage,
equate the flow, not really equate it so thai it
flows throughout the year evenly, but hold back
water so that it may be delivered in the periods of
time when it is needed . The law of prior
appropriation, with the irrigation district added
on to it, and these new engineering developments,
is gradually approaching then a system of equal
rights anti a common supply .... You might have
an organization with taxing and bonding power
to equate the flow, to take that winter storage ...
and use it when it is needed in the summer
months. Maybe that is the eastern solution, and
a study might very well be made then, not neces-
sarily further study of appropriation law, but of
appropriation institutions, the institutions that
have been developed in the West to solve their
problems 70
Districts for water management are not necessarily
appropriation institutions. The disposal of excess
water through the use of such districts is a practice of
long standing in Florida. Their employment for the
better management of water is a presently evolving
concept, and a concept which can be and is being de-
veloped within the riparian system itself.
A solution to the major problems in Florida would
require three steps. First, insure that legal authoriza-
tion exists for the capture storage, and use of water
in excess of reasonable uses; second, authorize the di-
version of such water beyon riiarian or overlving
land; and, third, provide means of restriction unrea-
sonale whdrawals of water in areas where such with-
drawals exceed or threaten to exceed the natural re
plenishment of such waters,.or where such withdrawals
render the waters unht _or use b rsonnf altwater-
intrusion or other causes.
The realization of these steps is not necessarily
through a change to prior appropriation. Legislative
provisions for the first two steps, operating within the
riparian system, have already been enacted in Wiscon-
sin," Minnesota,"2 North Carolina,7: Kentucky," In-
diana," and Virginia.7" In all of these jurisdictions
statutes authorize the storage and diversion ol surplus
water. Some of the statutes have been narrowly con-
ceived, and permit use of this water only on riparian

land." Limitations of this sort have been made less
restrictive in some cases by liberal construction of the
term "riparian land."7'
The problem of controlling excessive diversions of
surface and underground water-the third step-has
likewise been the subject of eastern legislation. A
New Jersey statute provides that the Division of Water
Policy and Supply of the State Department of Con-
servation may delineate areas of the state where di-
version of subsurface waters threatens to exceed the
natural replenishment of such waters.79 In such criti-
cal areas permits from the division must be obtained
for withdrawals of over a minimum allowed to take
care of domestic uses. The division can refuse such
permits if necessary to conserve the water in the area.
Assuming a decision to work within the riparian
system of law, and to preserve, insofar as possible, the
existing rights of water users in Florida as developed
by our present statutes and case law, there are a
number of legal problem areas where the law could
be improved by a set of legal definitions clearly de-
fining the meaning of certain terms in Florida, es-
pecially in areas where the law in other states is in
conflict and Florida has not yet taken a position.
In addition, provision should probably be made for
the organization and operation of new multipurpose
water management districts, and for the broadening
of the powers of existing districts to include the ad-
toF. J. Trelease, Professor of Law, University of Wyoming,
speaking at The Conservation Foundation Symposium on the
Law of Water Allocation in the Eastern United States, transcript
of the session of Oct. 6, 1956, p. 28.
n7Wis. STAT. 131.14 (1955).
72MINN. STAT. 105.38-.64 (1953). For comments on the Wis-
consin and Minnesota statutes see Ellis, Some Current and Pro-
posed Water-Rights Legislation in the Eastern States, 41 IowA L.
REV. 237, 239-41 (1956).
73N.C. GEN. STAT. 113-8.1 (1952). For a critical discussion of
the weaknesses in this statute, see Ellis, SOME LEGAL ASPECTS OF
WATER USE IN NORTH CAROLINA 41-9 (Conservation Foundation,
74Kv. REV. STAT. 262.690 (3) (1955), discussed in KENTUCKY
9-11 (1956).
?aIND. ANN. STAT. 27-1403 (2) (Supp. 1955).
7tVA. CODE 62-94.1-.12 (Supp. 1956).
"VA. CODE 62-94.4 (Supp. 1956).
TSThus "riparian land" has been defined in Virginia as "land
which is contiguous to and touches a watercourse; it does not
include land outside the watershed of the watercourse; real
property under common ownership and which is not separated
from riparian land by land of any other ownership shall like-
wise be deemed riparian land, notwithstanding that such real
property is divided into tracts and parcels which may not
Iound upon the watercourse." VA. CODE 62-94.1 (5) (SIupp.
9N.J. STAT. ANN. tit. 58, 14A-1 (Snpp. 1955).

ditional water managenme functions needed as a
result of the recognition of the interrelationships be-
tween water in different components of the hydrologic
cycle. It would be well to provide machinery, siinilar
to the 1955 special legislation enacted for Leon
County,-" under which boards of county commissioners
would be authorized to cooperate in water manage-
ment projects by using county machinery and ex-
pending county funds where the benefits of the project
to the county justified such aid.
In order to best accomplish these objectives, a
permanent administrative agency should be estab-
lished to administer the water law of the state and to
assure the fullest utilization of its water resources.
The legislative process and the judicial process, which
are the alternatives to the administrative process, are
not in a position by themselves to provide the solution
to the complex problems resulting from the tremen-
dously increased demands for water in Florida. The
legislature participates in the program by determining
major policy. Meeting as it does every second year,
it does not have the time to handle the mass of detail,
or to provide the scrutiny and consideration necessary
to resolve the shifting and continuing problems. It is

appropriate the legislature to establish the main
outline for the new program, and leave to an adminis-
trative agency the task of developing and carrying out
the detailed plans.
The courts are not in a position to investigate and
supervise such a program. They are not staffed with
specialists skilled in deciding complicated hydrologic
problems, and they lack machinery for initiating pro-
ceedings or taking other action in the absence of a
moving party. In addition, litigation in the courts
is often slow and expensive, and the answers are
limited to the particular issue under consideration.
Court participation in the program should be based
on full and adequate judicial review of the agency
The need for continuity of attention, highly spe-
cialized knowledge in the water resources field, and
speedy settlement of water rights controversies points
toward the establishment of an operating agency with
adequate funds and authority and the responsibility
for an effective water management program for the
benefit of all the people of the state.
soFla. Spec. Acts 1955, c. 30940.


Facts About Florida's Water Resources

Facts about Florida's water resources are presented
in this chapter under a number of subject-matter
These headings correspond to the several fact-
finding committees which gathered and organized,
basic data for the Commission. Material under each
heading is based upon information gathered and sub-
mitted by the corresponding committee.


The Origin and Movement
of Florida's Water Resources

Water is always on the move. We realize this when
we observe the movement of clouds, the fall of rain,
the runoff from rainfall on its way to a nearby stream
or lake, or the flow of a stream on its way to the sea.
We also sense the movement of underground water
when we see vast quantities flowing from the num-
erous springs which dot Florida's countryside. This
movement distinguishes water from most other natu-
ral resources. It makes the state's water resources re-
plenishable. If this were not true, our streams, lakes
and springs would soon vanish, leaving no fresh water.
This movement of water is called the hydrologic
cycle. Let us examine the components of this cycle
so that we may understand how each acts to replenish
or to deplete the water resources of Florida. Later
sections of the report present a more thorough dis-
cussion of what is known about each component and
how such knowledge is obtained.
A diagrammatic sketch of the hydrologic cycle is
shown in Figure 1. As the term implies, the cycle of
water is without beginning and without end. Pre-
cipitation, surface runoff, ground-water movement,
evaporation, and transpiration* are all stages of the
cycle. Of the rain which falls upon the earth, part
falls on water surfaces; part flows over the ground
surface until it reaches a stream, lake, or sinkhole; part
is shortly returned to the atmosphere by evaporation
*Transpiration is the evaporative loss of water vapor from liv-
ing plants. It is the equivalent of perspiration in animals. Since
it is difficult to distinguish losses resulting front i evaporation
and transpiration, measurements of such losses are often coll-
binlled under the single terr- "sevapotianspiration."

from land surfaces and vegetation; and the remainder
lercolates into the ground.
A part of the water that enters the ground is re-
tained as soil moisture near the surface, where it may
be evaporated directly into the atmosphere, or be
taken up by vegetation for transpiration. Another
part of the ground water filters through the soil and
forms part of the underlying free ground water or else
enters the rock formations to become artesian water.
Most of the ground water is eventually discharged at
the earth's surface as springs or seepage water, or
flows into streams, lakes, canals, or into the sea. In
Florida the water may enter and leave the ground
several times before it is evaporated into the air or
discharged into the sea.
Water flowing in surface streams is derived either
directly from rainfall as surface runoff or indirectly
from'the discharge of ground water to the surface. It
is this latter source that supplies the streams and
lakes with water during dry weather.
Although the cycle of water is continuous it does not
create a uniform rate of water movement. The average
annual value for rainfall over a given area, for the
low of a stream, for the level of a lake, or for the
water table elevation in a well tells us only what we
may expect on the average. In any year the actual
value may fall far short of the average value or it may
greatly exceed that figure. Such variations become
even more pronounced when monthly or weekly values
are studied. It is this factor of variability that prompts
our attempts to exercise management over water re-
sources-to dispose of excess waters in times of flood,
to conserve water for use in times of drought and to
draw on existing supplies more heavily during critical

Measurement of Water Movements
Measurements are made of several components of
the hydrologic cycle to give us quantitative informa-
tion on the movement of water. The instruments used
for these measurements include rain gages, stream
gaging stations, evaporation pans, and evapotranspira-
tion tanks. Because the quantities we are investigating
are distributed over such a wide area none of these
instruments measures the entire amount of water


/ 7 n \


which we are studying. For example, the standard 8-
inch rain gage has an area of only 1/80,000,000 of a
square mile, and thus is a very small sample of the
total rainfall in an area. There are many sparsely
settled areas in Florida where a single rain gage is
used to sample the precipitation on an area of several
hundred square miles. Obviously, many rainfalls are
crudely estimated by such a sparse network of gages.
Evaporation pans are used to measure the rate of
water lost by direct evaporation from open water, and
evapotranspiration tanks indicate how much water
is returned to the atmosphere by evaporation and
transpiration from the land. These instruments have
only a few square feet of area and give us a very small
sample of the total amount of water moving in this
component of the water cycle. There are also other
instruments which provide information from which
we may estimate the amount of water moving in the
particular component of the water cycle under study.
Thus, as can be seen, it is generally necessary to rely
upon estimates and extremely small samples in de-
termining the quantity of water moving in the hydro-
logic cycle, and there is need for additional informa-
tion in this field.

The primary source of rainfall information is the
records published by the U. S. Weather Bureau. These
publications give rainfall data from about 200 stations
in Florida and in watersheds of streams common to
the state. Figure 2 shows the distribution of these sta-
tions. In addition there are about 275 stations the
data of which are not published. These stations are
operated by various federal, state and private interests,
and the records may be obtained upon request.
An examination of the records discloses many in-
teresting facts. Florida and the adjacent land areas
drained by streams that pass through the state on
their course to the sea, western Georgia and south-
eastern Alabama, experience precipitation conditions
that are quite varied both in annual amounts and
seasonal distribution. Despite the absence of large
scale topographic influences, point rainfall* averages,
based upon the 25-year period 1931-55, range from as
high as 66 inches to as low as 45 inches annually. Some
locations, such as the Florida Keys, average less than
10 inches of rainfall annually.
*Point rainfall refers to rainfall measured at one rain gage



The main areas of high rainfall are in northern
Georgia, extreme northwest Florida, southeastern Ala-
bama, and at the southern end of the Florida penin-
sula. Along the lower east coast of the peninsula an-
nual point rainfall totals have exceeded 100 inches
and have been less than 40 inches. In northwest Flor-
ida annual point totals have ranged from less than
40 inches to nearly 95 inches. Figure 3 shows the
divisions used for this report.
The distribution of precipitation within the year
is quite uneven and, although the seasonal distribu-
tion changes markedly from one section to another,
there is an orderly transition from north to south.
Figure 4 shows the maximum, median and minimum
values for monthly rainfall in the various climatologi-
cal divisions. In Georgia and Alabama there are two
high points, late winter and midsummer, and one pro-
nounced low point, midfall. On the Florida peninsula
the most striking aspects of the precipitation regime
are: (1) The dominance of summer rainfall-generally
more than one-half of the annual total is observed in
the four-month period June through September; and
(2) the rather abrupt start and end of the "rainy sea-
son." June median precipitation is about double that
of May, and in the fall the median amount for the last
month of the wet season is generally twice that of the
following month. Northwestern Florida exhibits a
precipitation pattern that, in general, combines the
salient features of the areas to the north and to the
south. Here the feature of the double maximum is
preserved but the summer months are still dominant.
Extreme variations in annual area rainfall totals



may occur in consecutive years. Table 2 lists the five
driest and wettest years for the 10 climatological di-
visions during record years. The year 1953 ranks
among the wettest in the 25-year period 1931-55, while
1954 ranks among the driest in a number of sections of
the area. Figures 5, 6, and 7 show the rainfall dis-
tribution for 1953, 1954 and 1955, respectively. It is
noteworthy that opposite extremes may occur in dif-
ferent sections of this large area within the same year.
It is interesting to note that 1954 is generally the driest
of the series in the northern sections of the area, but
ranks among the 5 wettest years in the series in south-
west Florida. Wet years or dry years also can occur in
succession. In the northern portion of the area, 1947
and 1948 are among the wettest and 1954 and 1955
are among the driest in the 25-year span.
Most of the summer rainfall on the Florida penin-
sula is derived from local air mass shower or thunder-
shower activity. Numerous locations average more
than 80 thunderstorms per year and some average
nearly 100 annually. Although most of these thunder-
storms are of short duration, occurring in late after-
noon or early evening, relatively large amounts of
precipitation in a short time are not uncommon.
Most locations have experienced two-hour rainfall

S* '






totals in excess of 3 inches at one time or another. Be-
cause most of the summer showers are local in clharac-
ter, large differences in monthly and annual totals for

points relatively close to one another are common. To
a large extent these differences disappear when a com-
parison is made on the basis of a long term average:

(All values are in inches of rainfall.)

Dry Years

Wet Years

Divi- Rain- Rain-
sion Area Year fall Year fall

I Northwest Florida

2 North Florida

3 North Central

4 South Central

5 Southwest Coast
and Everglades

6 Lower East Coast

7 Southeast Alabama

8 Southwest Georgia

9 West Central

10 North Georgia



however, large differences in the long term averages
do exist within very short distances. The normal an-
nual rainfalls for Miami Beach, Miami City and
Miami Airport are -12.9, 47.2 and 56.4 inches, respec- V


tively, yet it is less than 16 airline miles from the air-
port to the beach location. Similar conditions un-
doubtedly exist elsewhere along the immediate Florida
In the more northerly areas, precipitation results
from two general causes: (I) summer rainfall which
is mostly of the shower and thundershower type; and
(2) winter and early spring precipitation which is
more the widespread general type that results from
the interaction between the warm moist tropical air
masses and the colder air masses from the northern
Interior of the continent. In the areas of 30 degrees
North Latitude, the greatest positive departures from
monthly average rainfall usually occur in the winter
or spring-quite a contrast to the peninsula where the
greatest departures generally are observed in summer
or fall.
The tropical storm, although not an annual visitor
to this area, does on occasion release copious amounts
of rainfall over relatively large areas. All portions of
the area have felt the effect of a tropical storm of
hurricane or 'lesser intensity at one time or another.
Years without tropical storms, although more likely to
be dry than wet, are not necessarily destined to be
classed as dry years. There were no tropical storms in
1954, yet this year was the fourth wettest in the 25-



.Johns, the Suwannee and all lesser ones. Or it con-
pares to the average spring flow of a little over 3%
l billion gallons per day for'the myriad springs ranging
from Silver Springs down to the smallest in Florida.
This large rate of evapotranspiration makes our total
Sausage of 3.8 billion gallons per day seem relatively
The magnitude of this tremendous upward surge of
water from vegetated areas is not generally recognized.
f Of course, under natural conditions, a high rate of
i evapotranspiration is not maintained continuously. Yet
Sfor agricultural areas this huge water transport must
be Ie maintained to obtain top crop yields. Water con-
trol must be practiced to supply that amount which
precipitation fails to provide.
Analysis of the water budget in southern Florida in-
dicates that evapotranspiration losses from agricul-
Ftural areas where the water table is maintained within
AN fIu DSTrMunoM 2 feet of the ground surface varies between 40 and 50
S a- l m inches per year.
An understanding of evapotranspiration is essential
S < ;also to all other water problems. This important ele-
.-./LS SHOWIN i ment of the hydrologic cycle has a direct bearing on
TorTA uIwAnU FAtL / JI surface and subsurface waters, water control, and even

year period along the southwest coast and Everglades
portion of Florida, and the sixth wettest in the lower
east coast area. .

The importance of rainfall as it influences the water ,
cycle, drought, and even plant growth is universally
recognized. Yet in attempting to balance the water '
cycle, an unknown quantity, evapotranspiration, as-
sumes major importance. It is simply the upward
transfer of water vapor from the soil and plant sur-
faces into the atmosphere. It is the combined evapo-
ration from soil and transpiration by growing plants.
Plants pump a continual stream of water from the soil
into the atmosphere. From irrigated areas, or from......
natural areas well supplied with water, the magnitude FIGURE7 .
of this upward movement of water is tremendous. aI mcas s-s
On a summer day average rates of evapotranspira-
tion in Florida have been measured at 0.15 inches per .... .....
day. This rate would account for a total upward
movement of water from the soil into the atmosphere o lms $Howr,
of 142 billion gallons per day from the surface of the totA RAIAFL M INCHS
state. It exceeds the average daily rainfall in most
areas. The rate may also be compared to an average
How of about 40 billion gallons per day from all of
Florida's streams, including the Apalachicola, the St.

salt water intrusion. It is the largest single form of
water use. Evapotranspiration is a consumptive use-
the water thus used is lost to the state.
Early evapotranspiration studies at the Everglades
Agricultural Experiment Station were among the first
in the entire humid eastern United States. This work
is now being carried on in cooperation with the United
States. departmentt of Agriculture at Ft. Lauderdale
and Belle Glade. Fundamental studies on evapo-
iranspiration are being conducted at Gainesville. The
Corps d Engineers is also determining evapotranspira-
lion rates from river basin studies.
Figure 8 shows estimated potential* evapotranspira-
tion losses at Miami for the four-year periKod 1952-55,
together with rainfall during the same period. It is
noteworthy that the potential losses are 14 per cent
greater than the average amount of water supplied
by rainfall

10 --


if i I I I I I

J F M A M J J A S 0 N D
-1952 THROUGH 1955

Even with these studies little is known of the varia-
tions in evapotranspiration for the state-despite its
importance in the water cycle. With Florida's rapid
development, attention must be given to evapotrans-
piration commensurate with its importance in the
water cycle. Such information is necessary to water
users in attempting to balance their water budgets.
The information also helps to give an indication of
how extensively our water resources will be used in
the future to supplement moisture deficiencies by
*Potlntial evapolranspiration is the maximum waecr loss from
fully vegetated surfaces asdeqiuaely supplied with moisture.

Artificial Inducement of Precipitation
A few years ago it was demonstrated in the lalora-
tory that it is possible to increase the yield of rain-
bearing clouds by artificial means. As a result, com-
mercial rain-making organizations were formed and
have carried on much activity. Several rain-making
firms have been employed by agricultural and forest
groups in Florida and other southeastern states, often
at considerable cost.
In the summer of 1956 the Department of Meteor-
ology at Florida State University investigated the ef-
fects of rain-making activities in the state. The re-
sults of this study indicate that to date attempts to
increase Florida's rainfall by artificial means have not
been successful. The techniques used to induce pre-
cipitation appear not to be the proper ones for the
state's climate and terrain. There is evidence, however,
that under the proper circumstances it will be possible
to obtain net increases of rainfall.
Artificial inducement cannot cause rain when it
would normally be dry. If successful it may also cause
damage to those who do not want additional rainfall.
For these reasons it may be well for the state to place
all weather modification attempts under surveillance
in the interest of the general state welfare.

Although Florida has a high average rainfall, mois-
ture deficiencies occur most years in many localities.
This explains in part why many users now attempt to
supplement soil moisture through water control and
artificial inducement of precipitation.
As our economy and population expand our people,
no doubt, will increase their efforts to supply their
needs through one means or another.
Often during these periods of moisture deficiencies,
available water supplies are at a minimum and compe-
tition may result. This further emphasizes the neces-
sity for legislation to facilitate development, storage,
use, conservation and protection of water resources in
the interest of all users.


Surface water is water in that phase of the hydro-
logic cycle in which it appears in liquid form on the
surface of the earth. It includes water in streams, lakes,
ponds, canals, bays, and oceans. Water that seeps out
of the ground and issues from springs becomes sur-
face water as soon as it appears at the surface. Water
moving from one surface body to another through
pipes or man-made conduits, even though under-
ground, is considered to be surface water.
' The importance of having adequate water supplies

is well known. Not so well known are the benefits to
be derived by having, as Florida has, much of the wa-
ter supplies in the form of surface water. Surface
water bodies can do much to temper the climate ol'a
region. They allow navigation and power generation.
Boating, fishing, and allied recreational activities are
possible only in areas so endowed.

Sources of Surface Water
The water in Florida comes from four sources: rain-
fall over the state, streams flowing in from other states,
underground flow from other states and water flowing
inland from the ocean. On the average, Florida re-
ceives 150 billion gallons of water per day from rain-
fall and another 25 billion gallons per day from other
states via surface streams. Discounting any water that
comes into Florida through underground formations
or moves in from the ocean, this makes a total of
around 175 billion gallons per clay on the average.

Occurrence and
Movement of Surface Water
Florida's surface water, in its efforts to reach the
sea, has established itself into 12 large river basins
and innumerable smaller ones. It is stored-we might
say temporarily, since it is continually being depleted
and replenished-in upwards of. 30,000 lakes through-
out the state as well as in stream channels. In addi-
tion to the fresh water bodies of the ifiterior, many
bays and lagoons lie along the coasts of Florida and
add to the usable protected surface waters of the state.
The majority of the lakes in Florida lie within
the peninsular section. Lake Okeechobee is the largest
lake in the state and the second largest fresh water lake
in the United States. At a nonnal stage this lake covers
some 700 square miles. Other large lakes are Lake
George, Lake Apopka, Lake Kissimmee, and Lake
Istokpoga. The usefulness of many of Florida's lakes
is enhanced by their being connected by natural chan-
nels. Lakes in the St. Johns River system are examples.
In other instances, where natural channels were ab-
sent, the usefulness of the lakes has been increased
by constructing connecting canals. Such canalization
is usually done as a water measure but it permits the
passage of boats and increases the recreational use
of the lakes. One example is the chain of lakes in the
Winter Haven area that has been thus utilized.
There are large fluctuations in the rate of flow and
in the amount of water that is stored in the lakes and
streams. The variation in storage and runoff assumes
a pattern very similar to the rainfall pattern with, of
course, some lag. On the average in peninsular Flor-
ida, the lowest water levels occur in May. Flow and







levels increase under the influence of the summer
rains, which usually begin in June, and the levels con-
tinue to increase to a maximum in September or Oc-
tober, after which there is a steady decline until the
following May. The pattern is significantly different
in the northwestern part of Florida. Here the lowest
flows usually occur in November and the highest
flows usually occur in March. These conditions are
illustrated graphically in Figures 9 and 10, which show
by months the normal discharge of the Kissimmee
River near Okeechobee and the Shoal River near
Crestview. Figure 11, which shows the maximum,
minimum and average month-end elevations for selec-
ted lakes, indicates the variation in lake levels that
has been recorded. The variation of the actual dis-
charge from the normal discharge of the Kissimmee
River near Okeechobee since 1931 is shown in Figure
12. The record low flows of 1956 are of great economic
importance since the Kissimmee River Valley supplies
fresh water for much of South Florida.







-- -








1 4


ti 12

-J 6




. 134
















W -- -- -- -



130 1931 1932 033 034 B35 1936 37 I36 13

140 41 042 3143 1944 I45 1946 947 344 049

The relatively low relief of the land surface of pe-
ninsular Florida is conducive to the formation of slow-
moving, meandering streams connected to or passing
through numerous lakes. The stream gradients are
usually slight with surface slopes as low as 0.07 feet
ler mile. The many lakes in the river systems act as
reservoirs reducing the severity of flooding in wet sea-
sons as well as sustaining the flow in dry seasons. In
many instances these lakes can be integrated into water
control systems with a minimum of effort.
In the northern and northwestern parts of the state
the land surface shows more relief and stream gradi-
ents are somewhat steeper than in the peninsula. The
Shoal River, for example, has a fall of about 3 feet
per mile. Lakes are not as numerous, and short-term
variations in the flow of the streams are more pro-
nounced. Here the stream valleys are more adaptable
to the construction of reservoirs than in the peninsula.
The flow map showing average flows, Figure 13,
gives a general idea of the movement of surface water
in Florida. This map shows the estimated average
flow of various streams in the state. Although average
values are often misleading, it is of interest to note
the small flows in the peninsular section of the state.
This is largely a result of the excessive losses from
evaporation and transpiration. Figures 14 and 15 show
the flow maps for the months of March, 1944 and
October, 1953 to illustrate the variations of surface
flow that are experienced. The estimates were based
on records collected by the U. S. Geological Survey at
gaging sites throughout the state.

The flow of water from a spring represents a loss
to the ground-water reservoir and a gain to the sur-

face-water component of the hydrologic cycle. Flor-
ida's springs have long been considered important to
the tourist industry and recreational interests, but
spring flows serve other useful functions as well. For
example, springs furnish many surface streams with
their only substantial supplies of water during dry
periods and make surface water available for mu-
nicipal, industrial, navigational, or agricultural use.
The amount of water issuing from springs of all
sizes in the state has been estimated to average 3,700
million gallons per day. Like other phases of the water
cycle, though, this rate of water movement is not uni-
form. During the periods when rainfall is inadequate
and the ground-water reservoir is not being recharged
at a sufficient rate, the quantity of water available for
spring flow decreases. Although the fluctuations in
spring flow are not generally as large as the fluctuations
in flow of most surface streams, the changes are sig-
nificant. Depletion of ground water resulting from
the current rainfall deficiency has caused spring flow
in 1956 to be much below average. The 1956 mini-
mums of the state's nine largest springs, as listed in
Table 3, show a gross reduction below average of 36
per cent.

Large areas in Florida are subject to season flooding
because the natural stream channels are inadequate
and cannot remove the excess rainfall during the wet
seasons. The topography, particularly in central and
southern Florida, is very flat and rainfall often re-
mains on the land for long periods unless it is re-
moved by drainage works. Larger floods have resulted
from intense rainfall accompanying tropical storms,
or from prolonged periods of rainfall.

50 leSI eSt 953 @ 6






(All values are in millions of gallons daily)

Ichatucknee Springs
Weekiwachee Springs
Sulphur Springs
Rainbow Springs
Silver Springs
Crystal Springs
Kissengen Springs
Blue Spring
Wakulla Springs

Average Minimum
Flow Flow, 1956
223 156
107 65
34 22
464 326
533 350
42 28
13 0
105 88
197 70

of Record

Source: U. S. Geological Survey

Figure 16 shows the approximate areas in Florida
which are or have been periodically flooded. Of the
total land area in the state, it is estimated that about
20 per cent or over 7,000,000 acres is subject to dam-
aging floods. In the report to the legislature dated 29
March 1949, the Water Survey and Research Division
of the State Board of Conservation estimated that

frequently recurring droughts and floods have caused
damages to average at least $25,000,000 annually in
Florida. The unprecedented floods of 1947, alone,
caused about $59,700,000 damages in central and
southern Florida. During that flood which lasted
for over four months in many areas, about 3,500,000
acres of usable lands were inundated. With the in-
creased development in the central and southern Flor-
ida area, the annual flood damages would exceed
$10,000,000. The central and southern Florida flood
*.control project is expected, when completed, to elimi-

27 '

W .. #I

- -m \


MARCH 1944




nate 80 per cent of the recurring damages in the
central and southern Florida area.
The Suwannee River with its principal tributaries-
the Santa Fe, Alapaha and Withlacoochee Rivers-
drains an area of over 9,500 square miles. The basin
experienced great floods in 1912, 1928 and 1948 with
the flood of 1948 being the most severe. In that flood,
damages were distributed over a large area extending
from southern Georgia to the mouth of the river near
Cedar Key, Florida. All highway and rail traffic be-
tween west Florida and east and south Florida was
detoured through Georgia for about three weeks be-
cause stream crossings were washed out. Total damages
were estimated at $516,000.

Adequate water supplies are vital to tie develop-

ment and growth of Florida. Much of the state is
subject to lengthy periods of little or no rainfall.
Droughts occur practically every year in many parts
of the state. In general, a drought may be defined as
a period in which rainfall has been so deficient that
vegetation and water supplies have been adversely
affected. Although it is recognized that droughts are
frequent in Florida, very little data are available as
to the severity of droughts in terms of actual losses to
agriculture or other water users.
Deficiency in precipitation is the prime cause of

4 0 *



0o PER *= SIm






drought. Although droughts may be more effectively
measured by the degr, of existing soil moisture or by
stream flow and ground water levels, such records
are relatively short in comparison with the available
rainfall records. It may be presumed that the intensity
of a drought would be proportional to the amount and
duration of rainfall deficiency. Reference to the sec-
tion on Florida's climate discloses the periods of
severe rainfall deficiency where it has been shown that
drought periods and severity vary in different loca-
tions. Large deficiency in rainfall at one area does not
necessarily indicate a widespread drought area in
view of erratic rainfall distribution, particularly dur-
,-1 *' Ling the .dry season.


Droughts need not necessarily be concurrent with
periods of rainfall deficiency. The 1954-56 period is
a prime example. Although rainfall deficiencies in any
one 12-month period were not of record proportions,'
the prolonged nature of the deficiency coupled with
less than normal rains during the intervening norm-
ally wet season resulted in one of the severest droughts
of record. In many sections of the state, particularly
in central and northwest Florida, water levels of 1956
were the lowest of record.
In an analysis for one of the major agricultural
areas in Highlands and Glades counties, it was found
that drought conditions occurred practically every year.
The 1942-43 drought which was quite severe was esti-
mated to have a 1 year in 5 frequency based on rain-
fall records. If the average potential development had
been realized on the 195,000 acres of agricultural land
considered, the 5-year drought would have caused over
$1,000,000 damage. It was estimated that the annual
drought damages would amount to about $500,000
on that agricultural land if no supplemental water
supply was available.
Much of the data and discussion on the above were
obtained from U. S. Geological Survey Water Supply
Paper No. 1255, entitled Water Resources of South-
eastern Florida.

Types of Surface Water
From a legal point of view surface waters may be
classified under two or more categories. For the pur-
poses of this study, two very broad categories will
suffice: (1) diffused surface water, or that portion of
surface water spread in a diffused state before it
reaches natural watercourses with well defined banks
and beds, and (2) surface water which has reached
and become part of natural watercourses with well
defined banks and beds.

Diffused Surface Water

Generally speaking, when rain falls the greater
amount of the resulting water is evaporated or tran-
spired into the atmosphere, and some passes through
the soil and underground strata and becomes either
a part of streamflow or ground-water supplies. A
small portion, probably less than 25 per cent, moves
across the land in the form of diffused surface water.
Although this type of runoff is only a fraction of
total rainfall, it nevertheless forms a considerable and
very valuable natural resource.
Very little is known at present about the relative
volume of this supply; and, therefore, too little is
known about its present or potential value for bene-
ficial purposes. And in this regard, not enough is

known about its behavior.
It is known that much diffused surface water is
caught in artificial or natttral storage areas and is
used for recreation, livestock water, irrigation, and
other purposes. In the last few years, many farmers
and other landowners in Florida have built ponds for
livestock and irrigation water and for fish production
and recreation. Some manage natural storage areas
for these purposes. Others have been constructed.
Many of these water areas catch and hold diffused
surface water for the beneficial uses intended. Some,
however, are built on streams and store surface waters
of the second category mentioned above. In the case
of some irrigation reservoirs, underground resources
are tapped.
On the other hand, diffused surface waters may do
much harm. For example, they may move to and stand
upon lower areas, and in so doing they may cause
damage to crops, pastures, buildings, highways, and
other installations. A considerable part of the drain-
age work done thus far in Florida has been to provide
relief in such situations, and much remains to be done
in this regard.
Diffused surface waters moving uncontrolled across
the land often can be the cause of serious erosion prob-
lems. Silt and other debris picked up by these waters
can, in turn, cause damage to lower lying lands,
stream channels, or drainage canals.
Some indication of the extent to which diffused sur-
face waters are being put to beneficial use is given by
Figure 17. This map shows the number of farm ponds
and irrigation reservoirs which have been constructed
with help from the U. S. Soil Conservation Service.
As of 1956 the number in Florida totaled 2,591. These

nourE I?
t Ag I Soanr6t

FIGURE 18.-A Farm Water Storage Structure Under Construction.
(Photo courtesy of Soil Conservation Service.)
structures have the capacity to store for use some 8,700
million gallons. Figure 18 shows a typical structure
for controlling diffused surface water.
Water of Natural Watercourses
About 23 per cent of the water received as rain moves
to the ocean via surface channels. In its transit it
forms many rivers and lakes in Florida and keeps then
in existence. Such waters may be said to fall into the
second category mentioned above-that of surface
waters in natural watercourses with well defined banks
and beds. This water, averaging some 40 billion gal-
lons per day, is of utmost importance to the state. The
course it takes in reaching the sea, how rapidly it gets
there, the characteristics of the bodies where it is
temporarily stored, and its fitness for various uses,
determine its value to the state as a natural resource.
The geographical distribution of surface flow in
natural watercourses is extremely poor regardless of
the large quantities involved. Of the estimated 40
billion gallons per day, more than 88 per cent of
the flow is found in only 5 rivers-the Apalachicola,
the Choctawhatchee, the Escambia, the Suwannee, and
the St. Johns rivers.
The flow map shows the relative amounts leaving
state via its rivers and canals.

How We Learn About
the Behavior of Surface Water
The behavior of water is best determined from in-
formation about its behavior in the past. Prerequisite
to a fund of knowledge of what has occurred up to the
present are that the events were recorded as they oc-
curred and that the records of the events have been
preserved and are available for perusal. Information
on how the water was Ibehaving has been collected


through the years by various groups, including federal
and state agencies, private companies, and individuals.
Some records have been well preserved; others have
been lost or destroyed. Much of the information has
been disseminated in published form; much of it is
retained in the files of the collecting groups.
The collection of surface water records in Florida
by the U. S. Geological Survey began about the turn
of the century. However, it was not until 1930, when
an office of the Survey was established in Florida,
that the amount of information collected began to
become significant. Since 1930 the scope of the work
has increased greatly in keeping with the ever-increas-
ing importance of surface water to the state. Figure
19 shows the location of stations at which daily dis-
charge records are being collected in relation to the
major stream basins of Florida. In addition theie are
records of 44 stations at which periodic or occasional
discharge measurements are made in the state.
Table 4 gives maximum, minimum, and average
values of flows recorded in selected rivers of Florida.
It is of interest to note the extremes displayed by
the maxima and ninima, a further indication of the
need for water management in Florida.
At the present time there are 130 stream flow meas-
uring stations and 170 water level recording stations
in Florida. These check points are fairly well distribu-
ted throughout the state as indicated by Figure 19
showing the distribution of daily discharge stations.
A recent statistical analysis of the flow data, however,
has revealed that there is virtually no correlation be-
tween the records of flow at the existing gaging sta-
tions, which is an indication that more gaging stations
are needed in order to develop an accurate picture of
Florida's surface water resources.
The report of December 1955 by the Presidential
Advisory Committee on Water Resources Policy con-
tained the specific recommendation that the current
network of 6,500 stream flow measuring points in the
United States should be increased immediately to
7,500 sites, and over a period of ten years the network
should be gradually increased by 50 per cent. The
report states further that particular emphasis should
be placed on obtaining stream flow records of re-
stricted duration on watersheds of moderate and small
size. These short-term stations should be integrated
with a series of semi-permanent base or index stations.
For Florida, the increase in the network should be
much larger than the national average because the
program of investigation was started later in Florida
and this fact, coupled with Florida's tremendous
growth, has made for more questions on water than
tje existing data can provide answers.


a- "

JULY 1956





Alaqua Creek ................_._.. .near DeFuniak Springs .......... ........
Apalachicola Rive .... .........at Chattahoochee .... ..................
Aucilla River .... ......... ............at Lamont .................-........-..... ......
Blackwaler River ---..... ..-----..... near Knights .............-- ...._...-.. .
Chipola River ....------._...._.-............... near Altha ....-............_...........-..-...-
Choctawhatchee River .....---..near Bruce .........._-........-..............
Coldwater Creek ...........-..........near Millon ........................ .........-
Econfina Creek ......----.......---- ---- near Bennett ..........----- ......-..-....-...
Econfina River ......---.. ---.-------... near Perry .... .--------------.......................
Econlockhatchee River ....---.---...-- near Chuluota ...----......-- ...............
Escambia River ..-..-..-.... ......near Century .............................
Fisheating Creek .......------..............at Palmdale ..........-..-......... .......
Kissimmee River ..--....------ .............near Okeechobee. ..................-..
Manatee River ---...-... ... ...near Bradenton .-..... _...-......
Miakka River ..--...........--------- ......near Sarasota ........... .......-....... ...
N. Fork Black Creek .....--- --... ......near Middleburg ...............-.....-.
Oklawaha River-. .-- ----............near Ocala ..........-......-.................----
Peace River .................---- .....-- at Arcadia -.......... .............
Pine Barren Creek .......-..- -....... near Barth ....-.....-...--..... ....._....
Rocky Creek ..---....-.... ...- ........ near Sulphur Springs .... ..............
Santa Fe River------- ............ -.... near Ft. White _~...--. --~..-......._..
Shoal River ....... .....--- ..-----------near Crestview ....- -....................
St. Marys River ...-- --.......------ near Macclenny .. ........._.........._..-
St. Johns River ..-----. ..--.._. near Christmas ......--- ..........._..... ..
Suwannee River .......---......... ...... ..at Branford --------...... ...... ..-- .....
Telogia Creek -....--..... ------.....-... near Bristol .-......................-... .
Withlachoochee River .....------... .. near Holder -----..........................
Source: U. S. Geological Survey

Florida's network of gaging stations should be
doubled as rapidly as it can be financed and the
technical personnel found to engineer the work. The
present annual cost of the surface water phase of water
resources investigations in Florida totals $200,000. At
present dollar values, therefore, it would require $100,-
000 or more per year to finance what is considered to
be an adequate program of investigation.

In the past, one of the state's major water resources
problems has been that created by temporary excess
water. Uneven rainfall distribution has often pro-
duced more water than could be controlled in natural
surface reservoirs and drainageways, and damage to
crops and structures and loss of life have resulted. Al-
though this problem will continue to be of major con-
cern, water needs resulting from the state's develop-
ment are focusing attention on the lack of surface
water at times when the rainfall is deficient. Droughts
are found to occur periodically. Although average
stream How rates indicate that we have ample surface
water supplies, such figures are often misleading,
since they do not reflect the actual conditions existing
at any given time.

The water needs are often greatest during periods
of low stream flows or lake levels. It is therefore ap-
parent that control of the water resources by conserva-
tion during periods of temporary excess for use during
other periods is necessary to obtain maximum bene-
ficial use of Florida's water resources.


Nearly the entire state of Florida is underlaid by
porous and permeable limestone which provides large
supplies of ground water. At present, 87 per cent of
the state's population depends on ground water for
domestic use. In addition, large amounts are used for
industry and for irrigation of vegetables and fruit.
In the past few years the problems of water supply,
water quality, and drainage have increased substan-
tially. The population of Florida is growing at a rate
greatly above the average for the country because of
retired people who are moving to a warm climate and
also because of industrial growth. Florida is rapidly
gaining new industry as the result of the trend for
industry to move into the south. Many of the in-
dustries are of the chemical type and use large amounts
of water. These uses, combined with the use of water

(All values are in cubic feet per second)



1,106 --


in a mineral production that has increased tenfold in
the past ten years, have resulted in heavy withdrawals
from ground water.
The principal ground water problem in the state
has been salt water contamination. Most of the large
cities are located on the coast and the majority of
these have had salt water encroachment problems. The
rapid development of the water resources has created
many problems for municipal officials, and inter-
ference of wells and local overdevelopment are becom-
ing apparent in the industrialized areas.
During six of the last seven years, Florida has ex-
perienced severe droughts. Declining water levels are
causing great concern to cities and to individual well
owners. Data collected in the past should be analyzed
to determine the interrelationship of rainfall, tempera-
ture, and water levels and to determine if low water
levels might be predicted.

Ground water occurs in almost all rocks of Florida.
The state is underlaid by a thick section of sand and

limestone. Most of these rocks yield water and some
of then yield large quantities. Figure 20 illustrates
generally the altitude of the formations of the Ceno-
zoic Era of Florida. Usable fresh ground water is con-
fined to the upper few thousand feet of rock. The
two principal aquifers are the Floridan, which isar-
tiesiTanh-mntthe Biscayne, in which the water is under
wateF table conditions.
The-Biscayne aquifer is composed of the Fort
Thompson formation, the Caloosahatchee marl, the
Tamiami formation, and younger sediments. Insofar
as the Floridan artesian aquifer is concerned, the cover,
or aquiclude, is composed largely of Miocene sedi-
ments, whereas the artesian water is contained in
basal Miocene, Oligocene, and Eocene beds. Thick
columns of fresh water, present under recharge areas,
may fill the pores of sediments as old as the Paleocene.
Above the Floridan aquifer, limestone (some of
which is verypermeable and porous), sands and shell
marls of Pleistocene and Miocene ages contain large
quantities of potable water of high quality under

FIGURE 20.-Geological Cross Sections Through Florida.



water-table conditions. These aquifers are utilized
along the coastal areas in southern peninsular Florida
and in the western panhandle where artesian water
is salty or unavailable.
Artesian water occurs in a series of porous, coqui-
noid limestones. The water in this widely spread,
copiously producing group of rocks is held under
pressure by the clays, dense limestone, and sands of
Miocene age, principally those of the Hawthorn forma-
tion. The aquiclude covers the aquifer except for
limited areas along the western peninsula and north-
central panhandle, where the limestone is exposed,
as illustrated in Figure 21. In these areas heavy
discharge occurs, but the hydrostatic head is main-
tained across the exposures by the development of
more porosity and permeability along essentially
horizontal bedding planes, as compared to that devel-
oped vertically. Because of the differential in porosity
and permeability, water moves slowly upward and
leaks most rapidly as the exposure is approached.
Therefore, in such discharge areas water pressures are
found to be greater in the deeper wells.
Deep wells drilled for oil penetrate very salty water

below fresh water over most of the state. This water
is c"immonly much more salty tian sea water. From
these records it is inferred that the entire state is under-
laid bv heavily mineralized waters and that fresh ar-
tesian water is floating upon the salty water because
fresh water has a lower density. The artesian water
of Florida forms a series of dome-shaped lenses that
rest on an irregular surface of salt water. In Jackson-
ville, fresh water is known to be present at a depth of
about 2,400 feet, the original piezometric pressures
in the area having been about 60 feet above sea level.
The shape of the upper surface of the mass of fresh
water in the artesian system is illustrated in Figure 21.
The artesian aquifer in southern Florida and in
thin areas along the coasts of the peninsula contains
salty water that is thought to have entered the aquifer
in the geologic past and which is now being flushed
from the rocks by fresh water.

Occurrence and Definitions
Ground water represents one phase of the hydro-
logic cycle. A part of the rain that falls upon the
L earth enters the voids between rock particles and


moves downward to saturate the pores of the sub-
surface to a level depending upon the balance of the
amount of water entering from rainfall and surface
seepage with that escaping from the ground by leakage.
Several belts or zones are present, see Figure 22. In
descending order, the water present in rocks of the
subsurface occurs with air in the voids of the soil belt,
where it is available for use in plant metabolism; in

an intermediate belt mixed with air and beyond recall
by plant roots; and below the water table, where the
water saturates the subsurface. These belts are present
under water-table conditions where the surface of the
ground water is free to rise and fall with the water
supply, unconfined by a covering bed.
Throughout much of Florida water moves down-
ward along pores in the rock and is trapped below im-

pervious water-tight beds. Wells that are drilled
through this cap, called an aquiclude, produce large
quantities of water. Water rises in the wells to the
hydraulic gradient and the wells are called artesian.
If the gradient projects above the ground surface, the
water will flow from well orifices. Water wells basic-
ally are of two types: (1) water table, and (2) artesian,
both of which are dependent upon rainwater for re-
charge of the aquifer.
An artesian well is one in which the water level
rises above the point of penetration into the aquifer
and, as such, it is similar to a water distribution sys-
tem. In the simplified illustration, in Figure 22, the
hydraulic gradient of a city distribution system is dia-
grammed as the height that water will rise in vertical
tubes along a line projected from the tank water
surface to the open end of the pipe. These principles
of hydraulics are the same whether in a city distribu-
tion system or in nature, but in the latter the porosity
and permeability of the formations and the distribu-
tion of recharge and discharge areas complicate the

Aquifers in Florida
Aquifers in Florida vary in areal extent from state-
wide to local occurrence, see Figure 23, and include
approximately 20 formations ranging from Eocene to
Recent in age. The aquifers may be classified as ar-
tesian or water-table types. Examples of these two
types are the Floridan aquifer and the Biscayne aqui-
fer, respectively. A brief summary of these aquifers
and other principal sources of ground-water supplies
is given below.

vmUmE ~I
- ,a~in N .uAT(

rZ-- OM inW

Floridan Aquifer

The Floridan aquifer, also known as the principal
artesian aquifer, underlies practical all of Florida
an is ftepriipal source of ground-water supplies,
except in Escambia and Santa Rosa co ies, in eas-
tern coastal areas south of St. Augustine, and in most
of thear--soilfoTrLakelGkeehFF--oe. In these areas
the aquifer is either missing or contains water which
is too highly mineralized for most uses.
The aquifer consists of limestone formations aver-
aging several hundreds of feet in thickness. The mor
part of the limestone section is Eocene in age with
overlying limestone o igocene and Miocene age
occurring in some parts of the state. These several
limestone formations act more or less as a single hydro-
logic unit. The top of the Floridan aquifer is at or
near the land surface in the north-central and north-
western parts of the peninsula and dips to more than
1,000 feet below sea level in southern and western
The areas of recharge in the artesian aquifer can be
estimated from a map of the piezometric surface which
represents by contour lines the height to which the
artesian water will rise with relation to sea level. Gen-
erally, recharge to the artesian system occurs where
the piezometric surface is high. For example, the high
area centered around Polk County in Figure I2 is the
one from which most of the artesian water in central
and southern Florida derived. Likewise, discharge
from the aquifer generally occurs where the piezo-
metric surface is low.
The Floridan aquifer is he srce of most ofhe
largsprings 17 of which have an average flow of more
than 65 million gallons per day. The aquifer as a
whole is very productive and wells which penetrate it
yield from several hundred to several thousand gallons
of water per minute by natural flow or by pumping.
Wherever the piezometric surface stands higher than
the land surface, wells will flow under natural artesian
pressure. The areas of artesian flow from the Floridan
aquifer cover roughly a third of the state as shown
in Figure 21. However, in most of the areasfaar-
tesian flow the artesian water isr.ela.iveLyixghly.. mi-
erT zed.
The shape of the upper portion of Florida's artesian
water, as illustrated by the piezometric surface, is con-
structed by measuring the water pressures in numerous
wells that bottom in the artesian water-bearing forma-
tions, referring these pressures to sea level, locating
the wells upon a map and connecting the pressures
that are equal by smooth contours. In parts of Flor-
'ida these contours rise to heights as much as 120 ft.
above sea level, as in Polk County. In other areas

- 37

and along the coasts these contours are lower, in ele-
vation and fewer in number.
It is by means of such diagrams that the direction
and distribution of flow of our ground water can be
determined. Using these diagrams with the elevation
of the land surface, it is possible to forecast the depth
of the well, the amount of casing, and the height of
water lift at proposed well sites. Where the contours
pile up, water must be entering the aquifer at a re-
charge area and where these contours decrease and
approach sea level, the water must be leaking from
the aquifer in discharge aieas. Large recharge areas
are present in Polk, Hillsborough, and Clay counties,
and one is centered in southern Georgia. The saddle
across the central peninsula, a large discharge area, is
the site of many of the state's large artesian springs.
Biscayne Aquifer
The Biscayne aquifer of Dade and Broward counties
is one of the most highly productive water-bearing
formations ever investigated by the geological survey.
This aquifer is a wedge-shaped mass of highly per-
meable limestone and sand, mainly of Pleistocene age,
underlaid by relatively impermeable marl and clay of
late Miocene age. It attains a maximum thickness of
about 200 ft. in eastern Broward County and about
120 ft. in the coastal area of Dade County. It under-
lies all the coastal areas of the two counties and most
of the Everglades and is everywhere highly productive.
The aquifer is composed predominantly of limestone
in the Everglades area of Dade County, but it becomes
increasingly sandy toward the coast. It is the sole
source of fresh ground water in the area, yielding water
that is very hard but of excellent quality for irrigation,
and with the exception of the hardness, of excellent
quality for industrial as well as municipal use.
Ground water in the Biscayne aquifer occurs under
water-table conditions. The water table fluctuates in
response to rainfall and is highest during September
and Octcber and lowest in spring and early summer.
The highest water levels of record occurred in October,
1947, as the result of a hurricane causing extensive
property damage in flooded areas of Dade and Broward
counties. The lowest water levels occurred in June,
1945, after three years of deficient rainfall, and re-
sulted in the accelerated movement of salt water inland
along most of the coastal areas of Dade County. Salin-
ity-control dams installed in the major canals of Dade
County in 1916 have alleviated the salt water encroach-
ment problem in most of the tidal canals.
Very large quantities of fresh water are available in
the Biscayne aquifer. It is estimated that 30 million
gallons a day were utilized in 1950 in Broward County
and alout 100 million gallons a day in Dade County.

These quantities represent only a small percentage of
the potential yield of the aquifer. Withdrawals have
increased appreciably since 1950, but the over-all effect
on water levels is negligible.
Other Aquifers
In addition to the above aquifers there are several
other aquifers in Florida which, like the Biscayne
aquifer, are limited in areal extent. These aquifers
which are utilized in localized areas occur under both
water-table and artesian conditions. No attempt will
be made here to describe all of these aquifers in
Florida, rather they will be grouped by general areas.
The principal source of ground water in Escambia-
Santa Rosa county area is from sand and gravel
formations, in which the water occurs under artesian
conditions. These formations are principally Miocene
in age and, geologically, are younger than the forma-
tions comprising the Floridan aquifer. The aquifer
ranges in thickness from about 100 to 300 ft. and occurs
within 500 ft. of the land surface. Wells penetrating
the aquifer, properly developed, will yield over 1,000
gallons of water per minute. Industries and munici-
palities are currently withdrawing large quantities of
ground water from this source.
Whereas the hydrologic and geologic characteristics
of this aquifer differ to some extent from other aqui-
fers in the state, perhaps the outstanding difference
is in the quality of water. The water from the aquifer
in Escambia-Santa Rosa area is markedly lower in
mineralization as compared with the water from other
aquifers. For example, the total hardness of water
from the municipal supply wells in Pensacola is less
than 12 ppm* and for the supply wells in Jackson-
ville (Floridan aquifer) the total hardness is approxi-
mately 300 ppm.
Along the coastal ridge areas from St. Augustine to
Stuart, ground water supplies are generally obtained
from shallow deposits of sands, shells or limestone
which make up the many localized aquifers of rela-
tively small areal extent. These aquifers range from
10 to 100 ft. in thickness and occur within 150 ft.
of land surface. The ground water occurs under
water-table conditions and the aquifers are recharged
by local rainfall. The water-bearing properties of
these aquifers will vary considerably; but on the whole,
well yields are small in comparison to those obtained
from either the Floridan or Biscayne aquifers.
In southwestern Florida the principal source of
ground water is from shallow aquifers (water-table
and artesian), and in parts of the area water taken
from the Floridan aquifer is for irrigational use only.
*Ipm--parts pet million b) weight of substance dissolved in
the water. One ppm is equivalent to 8.3 lbs. of substance in one
million gallons of water.

The formations making up the various shallow aqui-
fers range in age from late Miocene to Pleistocene.
These formations are principally limestones and shell
heads ranging in thickness front a few feet to approxi-
mately 50 ft. Most of the aquifers occur within 100 ft.
of the land surface and, with a few exceptions, have a
very limited areal extent. Even though the aquifers
have limited extent there are relatively few areas
where shallow wells will not provide an adequate
source of water supply for domestic use. In several
areas the aquifers are suitable for the development
of relatively large water supplies for municipal and
irrigational uses.
The water-bearing properties of the various aqui-
fers will vary considerably but well yields generally
range from 10 to 200 gallons per minute. In some
cases wells are purposely pumped at rates below the
maximum to minimize the possibility of inducing salt
water contamination; for example, the municipal wells
at Naples.

Cone of Depression and Interference
When a well is pumped or allowed to flow, water
leve-'"in the area around the well. are.Lowered. The
water-table surface, or the pressure surface for ar-
tesian conditions, arranges itself in the shape of an
inverted cone. This cone of depression may extend
from a few feet of he pumped well to several iles.
When the cones of depression of two or more wells
overp, interference deveQlops. For this condition
the pumping lifts will be increased or the well Yields
will be diminished. Figure 2-1 illustrates the cone of
depression for one pumping well and the interference
effects when two or three wells are pumped.
The shape of the cone of depression is controlled by
the'nature of the openings in the rocks. Where the
openings are large the cone is flat: where the openings
are small, the flow is restricted and the rone is steeg.
The amount of dradown lenends on the nminin
rate and on the rate of release of water from storage.
Drawdowns can be predicted for any distance from a
pumped well if hydraulic characteristics of the aquifer
are known. These constants can be determined by
making a controlled pumping test. Such tests are an
important part of a ground water investigation of an
To achieve proper economic development of the
ground water resources of an area, well interference
must be considered in planning well fields. During
the last war when many large industrial plants were
built in areas where adequate ground water data were
not available, costly failures in water supply resulted.
In some cases plants were located too close to one an-


other or too close to city well fields. Within a few
months the cones of depression overlapped and the
yield of the fields was diminished. Florida is presently
undergoing increased industrialization. There is a
strong possibility that an industr yjigh.lJ ocate a-well
d closeenoughlto a cit-y..wJlfieldjto cause reduction
in yield, or to reduce seriously.the.flow of springs. In
one instance the flow of a large spring has been re-
duced to zero.
At the present time there are not enough data avail-
able in most areas to determine the proper spacing of
well fields. Even if technical data were collected, there
is no legal method of preventing a new installation
from being located unreasonably close to an existing
well field.

Water-Level Fluctuations
Water levels in wells provide a measure of the
amount of water in storage in the aquier. When
water is added to the aquifer, water levels rise. Rain-
fall is the principal source of recharge. The water
percolates downward through the openings in the
rocks, in some areas, or flows down to the aquifer
through natural sinkholes. In some parts of the state
drainage wells are used to dispose of excess' surface
water. Recharge may also occur by direct movement
of water from streams, ponds, and lakes into the forma-
tions. When water is lost from the aquifer, water levels
decline. Water moves from points of recharge toward
points of lower altitude. Most of the discharge occurs
as seepage to the ocean, to lakes, and to streams, or as
springs. Water is withdrawn from the aquifer through
When the Itotal recharge exceeds the total discharge,
water levels rise. When discharge exceeds recharge,
water levels decline.. Thus, water-level records are of

FIGURE 24.-Cone of Depression and Interference Wells.

prime importance as a running inventory of our
ground-water resources.
Figures 25 through 30 are presented to show selected
records of water levels for water-table and for artesian
aquifers, in pumped areas and in unpumped areas.
The most prominent feature of the well records is
the rapid decline in water levels in many parts of the
state during the past three years. This decline results
from the meager recharge resulting from abnormally
low rainfall. Another prominent feature on most of
the graphs is the high water levels of 1947-48 which
were caused by excessive rainfall.
There has probably been no general permanent
lowering of piezometric pressures in the Floridan aqui-
fer, but in some areas local cones of depression have
been formed by heavy pumping. Localities where local
lowering of water levels is most pronounced are Fer-
nandina, Jacksonville, Foley, Panama City, and Pensa-
Serious depletion of aquifers by pumping is a dis-
tincmt ossiilitan red waterleves will affect
th cost of obtaining water. As the water level is de-
pressed, it may be necessary to install larer pumps,
deepen wells, or drill additional wells to obtain the
same yield. The most serious aspect of the formation
.Lof cones of depression is in areas where the aquifer
connects with the sea, or overlays salty water and the
water level at the umned wells js drawn below sea
evel. In h t ir ied heavy pumping may
(draw salt water into the wells.

Waste of Ground Water
Ground water waste occurs in Florida in all cases
where water from an aquifer is not or cannot be
utilized completely; where it is not re-used when eco-
nomically possible, or where it is made unfit for use
by contamination. As such, these wastes are classified
as (1) excessive development or overdraft in a well
field, (2) consumptive uses, and (3) contamination.
Excessive development and overdraft in a well field
cause a decline in the piezometric surface (loss of
head) with an accompanying increase in costs and loss
of yield. Extreme cases of overdraft may ultimately re-
duce th rostatic pressures to a point wheresalt
water from depth, or from the ocean, if nearby illl
nI! te intothe well field and contamina$ .the suppJy.
The porosity and permeability of the formations of
each large well field should be carefully determined by
pumping tests, and the adjacent areas of recharge and
discharge plotted so that well spacing, well sizes, and
pumping rates can be set to minimize the interference
between wells. Then the field can be safely developed
for maximum yield.
The consumptive waste includes excessive irrigation,

wild-flowing wells, and the nonadvantageous use of
springs, streams and lakes. Unfortunately, many citi-
zens are not educated to their responsibilities and al-
low their wells to flow conti-nuously or pump them
beyond their needs. NMany flowing wells have been
abandoned, their casings rotted; and, in some cases,
their waters are highly saline. The Florida Geological
Survey is currently engaged in an inventory of the
flowing wells of the state. Of two counties in which
this inventory is now completed, 361 flowing wells
were tabulated, of which 80 were flowing continuously,
the water unused and wasted. Of these 80 wildly flow-
ing wells, the water from 51 had chloride contents of
250 ppm or more, and waters from nine were not
analyzed. The chloride content ranges upward to
3,310 ppm, and this water is contaminating the ground
water of shallow aquifers, resulting in waste of these
Ground water is made unfit for use through con-
tamination by industrial and municipal wastes and
sewage and through contamination by salt water
trapped in the formation and not eliminated by casing.
It is wasted where used for cooling but not returned to
the aquifer-even though the heat may make the water
undesirable for some purposes. In the past some cities
and industries disposed of their wastes and sewage
through drainage wells and in sinkholes that connect
with aquifers. Although this practice is being dis-
couraged, there are many offenders who continue this
type of disposal. Large quantities of sewage and waste
have been placed in the aquifer and will be a source
of contamination for years to come.

Salt Water Intrusion
The problem of salt water intrusion may be found
in many coastal areas where large volumes of water
must be withdrawn from permeable formations in
contact with sea water.
However, salt water encroachment in Florida in-
volves more than the intrusion of ocean water into
fresh water. The state board of health considers 250
parts per million of chlorides as unsuited for. human
consumption..and if encroaching water exceeds this
concentration it is considered to be saline. Such sa-
init may originate from today's sea water, from con-
nate sea water trapped in the rocks of the aquifer at
the time the rocks were deposited, and from residual
sea. water filling the pores of the rock at a time when
the land was flooded by high seas. In addition to these
natural causes, salt from the disposal of industrial and
municipal wastes and the concentration of salts upon
the land during irrigation add considerable salinity
to natural waters. Irrigation waters normally contain
some salts. Evaporation and transpiration leave these

-J 44


_j 44---- ------ --- -- ----- -- -- ----- ---




FIGURE 2-.--Water Level Fluctu-tions in Florid-n Aqui--r Wells.

> the wter-lvel Aluctuations and trends.
Source: U S Geological Survey
z \




4- -- -- -i -

10 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --4--0- --- ----A --- --- -

S1937 193 9 1 939 1940 1941 1942 1943 11 19411945 1946 i 1950 1951 195Z 1953 1954 1955 1956

FIGURE 25.-Water Level Fluctuations in Floridan Aquifer Wells.
In Volusia, Flagler, Sarasota, and Pinellas counties the uniform recharge and discharge conditions have resulted in flat, steady
water-level trends. Conversely, in Leon, Marion, and Duval counties the wide variation in these conditions has caused a wide range
In the water-level fluctuations and trends.
Source: U. S. Geological Survey




84 -- -
> 82

M 70
88 -- --- -- -- --- -- --- .. ....-- -- -- -- --- -- -- -

4 6SC- -
7--4- -

w 7 C- -- -- -- -- --- -- -- -- -- -------- -- -- -- -- -- --

z> 66-------- -^i "---------

6i 1
'a 66----------- --^

40 1940 1941 L1942 194 194 1945 19 7 19 19 19 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956

FIGURE 26.-Changng Water Levels in Floridin Aquifer Wel

eo---------------------------------------^--- __ ----


54'------------------------------------------------------------------- --J----------- --

SC------------- ------------------\-

50 --4- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- ---- ---

1940 194I 1942 I943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956

FIGURE 26.-Changing Water levels in Floridian Aquifer Wells.
The water levels in Okaloosa, Orange, and Columbia counties show a general downward trend since 1948. The drought conditions
which have prevailed over most of the state since 1954 have caused the water levels to decline at an accelerated rate. Water
levels in the central recharge area of the peninsula, in Polk County, show only minor fluctuations until 1953, after which the effects
of the severe drought are reflected by a downward trend. The wide range of fuctuations in the Orange County well shows effects
of the seasonal distribution of rainfall. Water levels decline in the period of low rainfall (winter and spring), then rise sharply
during the summer period of heavy rain. During the wet season large amounts of water reach the aquifer through sinkholes and
through drainage wells. Note that the Columbia County graph shows seasonal rises or periods of recharge at the same times as
the Orange County well; however, the Orange County graph rises abruptly because of the direct connection from the surface while
the Columbia County graph rises slowly over a period of several months because the water must move through the aquifer from
distant recharge areas, or it must seep through a thick confining bed to reach the aquifer. Source: U. S. Geological Survey.




I S -





S--- -- V-

FIGURE 27.-Changing Water Levels in Areas of Heavy Ground.Water Purnpage
Slarge withdrawal of ground water h cc d the decline in water vel during the dry period of 154-6. Large

additional supplies of ground water can be developed in these areas but only at the cost of further decrease in water levels.
Source: U. S. Geological Survey

34- ---- 4-Vj,-

I32-- I_-%.; ^
m" "---- J- 7 F-

.- \,i -----/- --/t---, \

12 we3 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 155

FIGURE 27.-Changing Water Levels in Areas of Heavy Ground-Water Pumpage
The large withdrawal of ground water has accelerated the decline in water levels during the dry period of 1954-56. Large
additional supplies of ground water can be developed in these areas but only at the cost of further decrease in water levels.
Source: U. S. Geological Survey V




w J

u 36

32 '




STotal monthly municipal pumag ol Jacks ill

1,000 -- --- -- -- -- -- -- -- n - i --

-00 -

1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956

FIGURE 28.-Artesian Pressures have Declined in the Jacksonville Area.
The contours in the top three figures connect points of equal artesian head, in feet above sea level. When the first wells were drilled, about
1880, the artesian pressure in the vicinity of Jacksonville was sufficient to raise water 60 feet above sea level (map at left). Subsequently,
ground-water pumpage in the area increased to 80 million gallons daily in 1943 and to more than 140 million gallons daily in 1955. This
draft on the artesian water has substantially lowered the pressure in the area (map at center and right). Development of additional sup-
plies will be at the cost of further decrease in pressure. Source: U. S. Geological Survey


4 I


S-- 20

w I.
| ,3 I I- I I 1-- I--- \---- ...-
13 ----------==== ^,:S=

gIG------ -- -

oj s- --
4----- -I



z 10 -

940194 92 94 944 5941946, 1947--194 19 9I-0 1 95

Normal Precipitation, South Florida.
2Sourc: U. S. G l


FIGURE 29.-Changing Water Levels in Water-Table Wells and Cumulative Departure from
Source: U. Geological Survey
5 0 -^ S -Z SIZ^ Z
4j ~ -- ~-- : ^ _
3-0 ^^ -- -- s --y-- -- --m^ s

Source; U. S. Geological Survey

i- i


n ---- -

--- ---- - -- - -
-.w,- I.. M r I

North Florida.

salts in the soil which imay be made unproductive, and
this problem has been experienced in some areas of
Hillsborough, Seminole and Manatee counties. Where
water fow and drainage are sufficient to remove the
salts, the accumulative effect may be felt in the lower
parts of a drainage basin.
For the purpose of this study, salt water intrusion
is defined as the movement of saline water into the
fresh ground water whether derived from adjacent
oceans or from underlying or entrapped salt waters.
Unconfined ground water has a water table that
roughly follows the local topography in coastal areas
and may be exposed in surface basins of low head
above mean sea level. Normally the level in uncon-
fined fresh water aquifers is above sea level, and since
water does not flow up hill, sea water does not enter
and contaminate the fresh water. But when the fresh
water level is lowered sufficiently by pumping, the sea
water-wiTl'low into the aquifer, resulting in salt water
In Florida's confined aquifers the salt water that
apparently everywhere underlays tlhe fresh water is.
depressed by the artesian head. During withdrawal of
water, the reduction of this head creates a mound in
the salt water beneath the well, and _prerproduction
may causethis .muound..to..iutrude.-itaultreslL.wa.ter
aquifers ani even inLersect..well excavations.
Some wells penetrate lenses of rock that contain
saline water interbedded with rock containing fresh
water. If these wells are not constructed properly, and
the saline water cased out, aquifers having lower hy-
draulic heads will be contaminated by the movement
of the saline waters through the well into fresh water
The hydraulic principles controlling the relation-
ship of fresh water to salt water are illustrated in
Figure 31. Because fresh ground water is lighter than
normal sea water it floats upon the heavier liquid and
a column of fresh water 41 feet highjsxequ.ircJ to
balance a column of salt xwateru .feet .igh. In perv-
ious aquifers, therefore, for each foot of head of fresh
ground water above sea level there would be a column
of fresh water extending 40 feet below sea level.
In Florida where the artesian aquifer dips beneath
the ocean and gulf there is usually a hydraulic balance
between the fresh and saline waters. The artesian
aquifer is exposed along the highlands where it is
recharged by rainfall. In Figure 31 well No. I is under
water-table conditions, but downdip the aquifer is
covered by poorly pervious sediments and the con-
fined water rises in wells above the top of the aquifer.
Well No. 2 is artesian but will not flow, whereas Well
No. 3 is a flowing artesian well. Well No. -I is hypo- '

thetically drilled at sea to illustrate the decrease of
artesian head in wells cased into the contact of fresh
water with saline water.

Factors Contributing to Salt-Fresh Water
Equilibrium Measurements

1. Loss of head through increased demands by
municipalities. The demands of agriculture, due large-
ly to modern irrigation; and of industry with hydraulic
mining, pulp and paper mills, and refrigeration are
2. Excessive drainage. High water levels in the
Everglades and under the Atlantic coastal ridge were
materially lowered by digging of the Everglades drain-
age canals during the first quarter of the current cen-
tury. The result has been excessive drainage and a
lower water table that no longer holds in check the
salt water from the ocean.
3. Lack of protective works against tidewater in
bayous, canals, and rivers. This factor is particularly
prevalent in south Florida between Miami and Fort
Lauderdale where numerous canals and old discharge
channels cut the Atlantic coastal ridge.
4. Improper location of wells. Wells, in an area
subject to salt water intrusion, should be located as
far as economically feasible from the source of possible
salt water intrusion and properly spaced with respect
to each other to prevent interference.
5. Highly variable annual rainfall with insufficient
surface storage during droughts. The most important
single problem having to do with water conservation
and control in Florida lies in the fact that the rainfall
is highly variable, resulting in variations in the piezo-
metric surface.
6. Uncapped wells and leakage. Uncapped artesian
wells, in many cases flowing to waste, represent a
serious loss of ground water and inevitably result in
lowered ground water levels. Even when capped, many
old artesian wells have broken or corroded casings that

permit highly saline water from salt residuals to con-
taminate the fresh water in overlying strata. Areas
in which salt water is intruding into fresh water are
shown in Figure 32.
In general, with the possible exception of geo-
logically entrapped salt water, intrusion of salt water
into fresh water of the state is a direct result of large
withdrawals of water and excessive drainage of low
surface areas. Increasing chlorides and decreasing
heads in fresh water aquifers are indications of ap-
proaching salt water intrusion. Coastal areas of large
withdrawals should be placed under regular observa-
tion and the withdrawals, spacing of added wells, and
conservation practices governed by the data of these



Ground Water Investigations

Ground water investigations are made for the pur-
pose of evaluating the quantity and quality of the
ground water available for use, to provide for orderly
development of this resource, and to provide informa-
tion for proper planning so as to avoid interference,
waste, and overdevelopment. Information is also neces-
sary in order to solve salt water encroachment prob-
lems and to protect supplies from contamination.
The scope of the present program is illustrated in
Figures 33 and 34.
The state-wide network of observation wells shown
in Figure 35 has 186 locations where periodic or con-
tinuous records of water levels are collected. Of these,


AEMTI Kam a"m
is EL Wma N ,mm~
E ,mI Uma pmPRVMI


104 are equipped with automatic recorders. In addi-
tion, records are being collected at 41 recording and
523 nonrecording stations in connection with project
investigations, many of which will be discontinued at
the close of the project investigation.
Figure 33 shows the areal investigations now in
progress. A large part of the program is concentrated
along coastal areas where threats of salt water intrusion
are of prime importance. Funds were made available
in these areas because of heavy pumping in the rapidly
growing heavily populated areas. Most of northern
and panhandle Florida have not yet experienced the
large water requirements of new industry and rapid

wm mman no -umal"

wi mu pry rOm HT -

mmm ~ wir a. ma pnig,,
sm A90111179no otow INSIDE


104J1c1 ftOIOa* G4aoGJcAL Wruvl

FNsu 35
i Vmin a inmiu "!
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' '

It might be pointed out, by way of summary, that
Florida is expanding rapidly in population and in in-
dustrial development. Nearly all of the cities will
have to expand their water facilities. The impact of
new industries is being felt. Many of the new indus-
tries, particularly pulp mills and chemical industries,
are users of extremely large quantities of ground water.
Florida has an abundance of ground water; however,
the quantity and quality of water available at any one
point is not always readily determinable. A compre-
hensive program to appraise the ground water re-
sources for the state is badly needed:
1. To supply information to prospective industries,
to help them find locations which have water of ade-
quate quality and quantity for their purposes;
2. To delineate areas of limited supplies so that over-
development and substantial financial loss will be
3. To obtain more information on the occurrence
and movement of salt water so as to avoid costly repe-
tition of salting of well fields;
4. To make information available to consulting en-
gineers for planning expansion of well fields;
5. To provide information on supplies available for
6. To provide general factual information needed
in resolving legal problems on water use and water
7. To provide basic geologic and hydrologic in-
formation needed to cope with pollution, drainage
problems, and artificial recharge;
8. To make basic data available to federal, state,
and local agencies engaged in water management and

water conservation activities; and
9. To provide ground water data needed to evaluate
the over-all hydrology of the state.


The utility of Florida's water resources depends
entirely upon the beneficial use to which this re-
source is or may be subjected. For this reason, it is
important to gather basic data showing quantitatively
present water requirements of the various beneficial
users-municipal, agricultural, industrial and recrea-
Planning for the future also necessitates that esti-
mates be made of increases in water requirements.
Attempts to estimate future water usage are not with-
out hazard, since fluctuations in the national or state
economy, technological developments, or other un-
predictable elements may easily change the pattern
upon which these estimates are based. Nevertheless,
future water requirements have been estimated
through 1970 in this section of the report, and it is
believed the results are indicative of the future water-
use pattern in Florida.
The quantity of water utilized from a given supply
often does not completely describe the demands on
the available water resources In some water use opera-
tions water quantity and quality are altered but little,
and the water may be returned to surface or ground
reservoirs where it is available for another use. For
example, the large quantities utilized in the manu-
facture of electric power are not changed qualitatively
and are diminished quantitatively by a very small
amount. Other operations may completely destroy
the utility of water and thus remove it from that vol-
ume which may be used again. Most of the water
used for irrigation is dissipated by evaporation and
transpiration, while certain industrial uses impair the
quality to such an extent that the water is no longer
usable for other beneficial purposes. Even the waste
water from industries and municipalities that may be
reclaimed is often removed from beneficial use by
allowing it to flow into tidal waters. Most water used
by Florida municipalities falls in this category, since
a majority of the state's population is concentrated
along the coasts.
On the whole, Florida's water resources exceed the
demands for water in the foreseeable future if our
resources are properly managed. However, this section
of the report shows that water demands are not uni-
formly distributed but fluctuate violently with re-
spect to season and to place. This is also true of the
quality of Florida's waters.

An attempt has been made to determine the present
and future water requirements by counties so as to
indicate those areas where it is possible for the demand
to exceed the supply. Other sections of the report
show the quantities of water in these areas and which
are available at the quality necessary for the given
beneficial uses, thus indicating those areas of the
state that may experience difficulty at the present or
in the foreseeable future.

Agricultural Use
The largest of all water uses in Florida is that re-
quiired for agricultural operations. A greater amount
of the water used in raising crops, pastures and groves
is not collected and transported to the place of use
but rather is supplied by rains which fall on the area.
Some of the rain is temporarily stored in agricultural
lands in the form of soil moisture for consumption
in the normal evaporational processes and the tran-
slirational processes of growing plants. It would ap-
pear that in an area of abundant rainfall, such as
Florida, sufficient soil moisture would always be pres-
ent to permit active and continued growth of agri-
cultural crops. Such is not the case. The vagaries of
nature do not supply rainfall at a uniform rate, and
there are periods even in normal and wet years when
the soil moisture is depleted below the optimum
growing point for extended periods of time. In

drought years this condition becomes even more
serious. For this reason, irrigation is becoming in-
creasingly more common in Florida in order to sup-
ply moisture to the soil during those periods when it
is most needed.
Figure 36 illustrates one type of water control
In 1956 there were 16,581,000 acres of productive
alarm land and pasture in Florida, or about -18 per
cent of the state's total land area. Data contained in
Table 5 show that of the productive farm land, some
7-12,000 acres were subject to irrigation practices in
1956. While this acreage constitutes but a small por-
tion of the total productive acreage, a significant trend
towards irrigation practice is to be noted.
It was not possible to obtain quantitative data in
regard to water used for irrigation. An estimate of
irrigation water requirements was made, however, by
computing the difference between the net soil moisture
supplied by rainfall and the potential evapotranspira-
tion demands resulting from the average net solar
energy available. The difference indicated the average
annual depth of irrigation water needed for Florida
agricultural crops. Using the values of irrigated acre-
age in Table 5 it was then possible to estimate the
irrigation water requirements in 1956.
From these estimates, it was found that the average
daily consumption of water for irrigation purposes in

FIGURE 36.-Water Control Operations on a Celery Field in Marion County. (Photo courtesy of the Soil Conservation Service.)

(All values are in acres.) 1956 County Agent Survey'

Total Acres Total Acres Vegetals Tobacco Pasture Other
County Irrigated Iie Citrus V t s T accoasture Oher
19552 Irrigated & Truck

Alachua ................ 1.032 800 x 200 600 x x
Baker .................. 136 40 x x 20 x 20
Bay ..............-........... 67 44 x 4 x 40 x
Bradford ...... 39 310 x 250 60 x x
Brevard .-.............. 6,165 *
Browardn ................ 18,666 40,070 6.000 23,000 30 11.000 40
Calhoun n -.. 40 630 x 20 x 240 370
Charlotte .............. 2,244 14.510 1.500 5,000 x 8,000 10
Citrus ..... -....... ..._... 111 490 450 40 x x x
Clay ............. 2.112 2,870 10 680 x 2,180 x
Collier ..... 9,324 18,000 x 18.000 x x x
Columbia .....-...._....-.. 367 51 x x 51 x x
Dade -.... ....-.... 17,087 56,050 6.500 40,000 100 450 9,000
DeSoto ....-.......... 3.386 8,000 7,400 x x x 600
Dixie x....._ ___ 42 x x 12 30 x
Duval .................... 215 350 50 x x 300 x
Escambia ............. 169 80 x 60 x 20 x
Flagler ................. 2.625 4500 x 4,000 x 500 x
Franklin .....-...-...... 41 85 x x x 85 x
Gadsden ................ 4,042 6,000 x 700 4,500 300 500
Gilchrist .... ......._ x x x x x x x
Glades ........ ... 6.516 16.000 x 1,200 x 9,800 5,000
Gulf .. ..................- 18 12 x x x 12 x
Hamilton ..........- 1.137 2285 x 100 1,48.5 100 600
Hardee ............... 3.703 20.000 10,000 5,000 x 5,000 x
Hendry .... ... ...-... 19,304 23.00 1,000 10,000 x 11980 20
Hernando ............ 958 450 300 50 x 100 x
Highlands ........... 9,564 22.300 17.000 2,400 x 2,200 700
Hillsborough ..... 21,779 22.000 6,200 15,350 x 450 x
Holmes ............... 162 80 x x x 80 x
Indian River ........... 31,168 6,930 5.000 1,800 30 100 x
Jackson ..............-........ 964 2280 x 160 x 820 1.300
Jefferson .....-......... 25 420 x 25 35 0 W60
Lafayette ........_ 114 1,250 x x 950 150 150
Lake ..... -..... .. 10,697 26,350 20,000 3,800 x 2.350 200
Lee 15,088 25.000 500 10,000 x 8,000 6,500
Leon ...__ .. 1,745 975 x x 22 753 200
Levy .... ........ 73 103 x 20 IS x 70
Liberty .... .-... .._.._.. II x x x x x x
Madison ................. 518 500 x 180 320 x x
Manatee .....-.... ...... 1,954 1,000 250 600 x 150 x
Marion ........ ... 5,928 6,728 2,418 3,500 10 800 x
Martin ......... ....0..... 10,135 21,000 2,000 4.000 x x 15,0o
Monroe -.... ......--........ 5 *
Nassau .......... .......... 242 1,058 x 20 4 1,000 34
Okaloosa .. .. ..... x x x x x x x
Okeechobee ..... ...... 4.133 6,700 200 2.500 x 4,000 x
Orange ...............-. 16.941 35,500 20,000 8,000 x 7,500 x
Osceola .... ........ 3,318 1,540 1,500 20 x 20 x
Palm Beach ....-......_ 78,831 175,000 200 80,000 x 61,300 33500
Pasco .................. 4,398 5,000 4,300 200 x 500 x
Pinellas .... .... ......... 5,968 12,000 11,280 20 x 500 200
Polk .... ................... 19,197 50,000 40,000 4,000 x 6,000 x
Putnam .-............ 3.676 *0
St. Johns ..--.. -... .- 13.340 20,600 400 16.000 x 3,500 700
St. Lucie ....-------..... 42,160 35,220 20.000 x x 15,000 220
Santa Rosa ... .......... 128 *
Sarasota ................... 3.033 8,600 850 2,250 x 4,000 1,500
Seminole ..9,441 -* *
Sumter ................... 2,740 4,840 x4,800 40 x x
Suwannee ....-........- 414 1,770 x 150 800 200 620
Taylor ........................ x 300 x 20 125 155 x
Union .... ...... ......... 100 220 x 110 70 40 x
Volusia .......- ............ 880 1,800 1,000 300 x 300 200
Wakulla .----........--.... x x x x x x x
Walton ....-..........-..-.... 20 50 x x x x 50
Washington ................ x 25 x 10 x5 I x
TOTALS .......... .... 428,392 711,808 186,308 2i8,539 9277 170.020 77.664

ISource: Survey of County Agents made bIy T. C. Skinner, FlIrida Agricultural Extension Service, 1956.
2Sourcc: 1955 Agriculture Census. x-indicaies an insignificant acreage.
SAcreage not identified as to crop. *-indicates no report from county agenl.

klortna amounted to 1,182 m.g.d. It must be recog-
nized that most of the water is used during the grow-
ing season, a period much less than the 12-month
period upon which the averages are based. However,
the results are presented on a yearly basis for uniform
Of the 4,279,000 acres under production in 1956,
17 per cent was subject to irrigation practices. Assum-
ing uniform increases in vegetable and field crops,
citrus, and improved pasture acreages and assuming
that the percentage of irrigated land will remain con-
stant, it is estimated that the water requirements for
irrigation in 1970 will average 2,200 m.g.d.

Domestic and Municipal Use
One of the first considerations in the development
of an area's water resources is that of furnishing a
safe and potable domestic and municipal supply. In
general the quantitative requirements are based en-
tirely upon the number of people served with proper
allowance for the standard of living of the population.
Municipal use includes such items as drinking water,
lawn sprinkling, bathroom and kitchen facilities, air-
conditioning, office building and commercial use, and
small industries depending upon municipalities for
source of supply. In rural areas where public water
systems are not available, individual systems are re-
quired to supply water for normal household uses and
for livestock.
A survey conducted by the Florida State Board of
Health shows that in 1956, 528 public systems* were
in operation, serving an estimated 2,950,000 people.
Data received from this inventory indicate that at
present an average of 390 million gallons a day
(m.g.d.) are being produced and distributed by these
systems. Ground water serves as the major source of
supply (87 per cent), primarily because of the ease
with which sufficient quantity of high quality water
is obtainable from ground water reservoirs in the vi-
cinity of most municipalities.
At least 97 public water supply systems in 41 coun-
ties of the state have experienced shortages from one
cause or another. These data indicate that the supply
from 59 of these systems resulted from insufficient
facilities but that the deficiencies in 31 of the systems
have been partially or completely corrected to date.
In 12 of the systems the supply was endangered by pol-
lution of one type or another. There were shortages
in 4 systems due to inadequate sources of supply and
not resulting from inadequate facilities.
In rural areas it is estimated that about 1,380,000
*A public system is defined as one serving more than 100
people. There are many smaller communityt" systems in out-
lying urban or fringe areas.


7.O 000I 1 1 I 1





people were served by individual water supply systems
in 1956. Although the exact per capital use is not
known, it is estimated that each person used water
at the rate of 50 gallons per capital per day, to give
a total of 69 m.g.d., with the source of supply almost
entirely from wells. It is also estimated that an ad-
ditional 35 m.g.d. were used by livestock in Florida,
to give a total of 104 m.g.d. used for domestic and
livestock purposes.
A recent study made for the State Board of Control
has indicated that the 1970 population of Florida will
be 6,013,000,* see Figure 37. By that date, it is likely
that about 70 per cent of the population will be
served by public water supply systems. The present
daily per capital consumption of persons served by
public systems is 131 gallons, a figure somewhat below
the national average of 153 gallons daily per capital.
The rate of use is steadily increasing, however, and by
1970 the average water demand in Florida should
reach 150 gallons daily per capital. At this rate the
4,209,000 persons which it is estimated will be served
by public systems in 1970 will use an average of 631
Per capital use by the rural population will likely
increase to about 60 gallons daily and the
estimated 1970 rural population of 1,804,000 will re-
quire about 108 m.g.d. Assuming a slight increase in
the amount of water consumed by livestock, it is esti-
mated that the 1970 water demand in rural areas
will amount to 160 m.g.d., giving a total estimated
use for domestic and municipal purposes of 790 m.g.d.
*Many believe this estimation to be ultra-conservative. There
are indications that the 1970 population of Florida will exceed
7 million people.


y spoo"ooo---- ---t- --- --- ---
S6.000.POO -------- ---

ro -
X 4OOOO --

70ooo --- --- -- -- --- --





It is likely that well over 90 per cent of the quantity
will be obtained from ground water sources.

Industrial Use
The requirements for industrial water in Florida
are more diverse than those of any other beneficial
water user. Some industrial operations require no
water while others use tremendous volumes of this
natural resource. The quality requirements vary from
water of the highest purity in some processes to the
use of sea water for cooling purposes. As a conse-
quence, it is impossible tno~eaeralize on this type of
water use as has been done in the case of municipal
water supplies.
Four major categories of industrial water usage in
Florida predominate: (I) electric power production,
(2) pulp and paper manufacture and general chemical
industry, (3) citrus processing, and (4) mining. Data
on water usage in each of these four categories have
been obtained by county in order to show the areal
distribution of industrial water supply requirements.
Estimates of future requirements were obtained by ex-
trapolating the presently announced expansion plans
and in some cases by estimating the potential develop-
ment based upon available raw materials, such as the
rate of citrus production within the foreseeable future.
Electric Power Production
At present the production of electric power in
Florida is accomplished by hydroelectric and by steam
generating power plants. Both methods require huge
volumes of water since the energy generated in a
hydroelectric plant is derived entirely from the falling
water, and steam generating plants require large
volumes for cooling purposes. Hydroelectric plants
do not play a prominent part in the state picture since
there are few sites which are satisfactory for im-
pounding the water and developing the head neces-
sary to operate the turbines. Small plants are in opera-
tion at Inglis, Bloxham and Moss Bluff. The Jim
Woodruff Dam will develop hydroelectric power but
has not yet been placed in operation.
The water requirements of steam generated power
plants are such that the quality of water used does not
play an important part in the operations. A number
of plants can and do use brackish or salt water for
cooling purposes but many plants must be located
where only fresh water is available. Data obtained
from the power industries show that in 1956 an aver-
age of 1,590 m.g.d. were used by steam generated
power plants in Florida. Of this amount, only 2 per
cent was obtained from ground sources. In general,
the water is not impaired in quality since it is subjec-
ted only to a slight temperature rise and is diminished

in quantity by only about 4 per cent. A vast majority is
returned to the fresh water reservoir from whence it
The Federal Power Commission reports that in 1955
electric power production amounted to 10,013,000,000
kilowatt-hours in Florida, representing a gross revenue
to the companies of about $175,000,000. It is esti-
mated that in the next ten years this will increase to at
least $225,000,000 a year. The increase in fresh water
requirements by 1970 will amount to about 25 per
cent for a total usage of about 2,120 m.g.d.

Pulp and Paper and Chemical Industries
The manufacture of pulp and its attendant end
products from pulpwood and the manufacture of
various chemical products are becoming an important
part of the industrial picture in Florida. Most of
these industrial sites have been selected after giving
primary consideration to the area's water resources.
Some processes such as the manufacture of ammonia
and other nitrogenous compounds use the water as a
raw material from which the end product is made.
Others require water for various process operations
and cooling purposes. No two industries require the
same quantity or quality of water and even individual
plants of a type of industry vary in their requirements.
In general, each industry endeavors to hold the
net amount of water used to a minimum. For example,
in the average pulp mill the water entering the mill is

used more than six times before it is discharged. The
reason for this reuse of water is the fact that costs of
obtaining the raw water generally militate against
its wasteful use. Information on the usage of fresh
water was obtained from the 10 chemical plants and
the 9 pulp mills in Florida which employ 500 or more
persons each. In 1956, 354 m.g.d. were being used
by these industries with the supply being obtained
about equally from surface and ground sources.
Should planned expansion within the next 14 years
double that already announced, the estimated fresh
water requirements by this category of industry will
amount to 770 m.g.d. in 1970, without allowance for
new industries which may be established in the state.
The prominence of the pulp and chemical indus-
tries in Florida's economy is illustrated by some facts
presented in the 1956 Directory Issue of the Manufac-
turer's Record. In 1955 the output value of chemical
plants in the state amounted to $120,000,000 and that
of the pulp and paper industry $255,000,000.
Citrus Processing Industry
Data on water requirements of the citrus processing
industry were compiled from 24 of the major con-
centrating plants which produce 95 per cent of the

concentrated citrus juices in Florida. Also included
are figures from 8 of tile largest canning plants can-
ning single strength juice and processing chilled juice.
There is a variety of requirements for water used
in the processing of citrus. An average of 250 gallons
of water is required for each gallon of concentrate
made, while the water required for fresh fruit packing
averages about 5 gallons per box of fruit packed. In
the manufacture of single strength juice, the average
requirement is 37 gallons of water per case of 24 No.
2 cans. Canned grapefruit sections, citrus salad and
orange sections require approximately 122 gallons per
case. The by-products of citrus processing require
82 gallons of water per box of fruit, or 17,500 gallons
per ton of by-products.
Using these unit figures, the total of all water used
in citrus processing was estimated to be 32,900 million
gallons during the 1956 season. The average daily
use of water over a 200-day operating season, extending
from November 15 to June 20, was 165 million gallons.
Computed cn an annual basis for uniform reporting,
the average annual rate of use was 94 m.g.d.
If the estimated future production of 254,960,00,)
boxes of citrus is reached, the estimated water require-
ments will he 168 m.g.d.
Minin3 Industry
Although Florida is not generally known as a
mining state, mining operations do play a significant
part in the state's economy and in the use of its water
resources. According to the 1956 Directory Issue of
the Manufacturer's Record, the output value of mines
in the state amounted to $75,000,000 during 1935.
Principal operations include phosphate rock, fuller's
earth, heavy sands, and hard and soft limestone.
Great quantities of water are used in the mining
industry in Florida. To a large extent the water is
obtained from settling areas in which the water has
been impounded, and from which it is recycled and
reused. Additional water is obtained, primarily from
deep and shallow wells, for certain processes where
clear water is required, and for make-up water to be
added to the system to replenish water lost by leakage
and evaporation.
Probably the largest single use of water in the in-
dustry is its use for the transportation of solids in
pipelines and launders. Large quantities are used in
hydraulic mining, such as is practiced in the phosphate
field. Where dredging operations are employed,
water is used for the flotation and transportation of
barges and equipment.
In recovery operations, water is used to concentrate
and upgrade the ore being mined. It serves as wash
water in screening, crushing, sizing, and classifying

operations. It is used as a slurry in jig, spiral, flotation
cell, and table concentrators. .It is used as make-up
water to control slurry density, and in filtration and
desliming operations. It is important as wash water
in washing and scrubbing operations to remove re-
agents, caustic, and objectionable coatings. It is also
used as priming and sealing water in pumping opera-
tions, as a coolant for ore and equipment, for steam
generation, and for jet water in exploratory and blast-
hole drilling operations.
Information on the use of fresh water by the mining
industry in Florida for 1956 was obtained from the
industry. Such operations required an average of 191
m.g.d., with a majority of this water being derived
from underground sources. According to information
received from the mining industry, the presently con-
templated expansion within the next five years will
amount to s;me 38 m.g.d. If expansion during'the
10-year period following 1960 is of the same order of
magnitude as that of contemplated expansion, the
1970 usage cf f.-esh water by the mining industry in
Florida will amount to some 363 m.g.d. It is likely
that this quantity of water will be obtained primarily
from wells in a manner similar to current operations.

Water Use for Navigation
River and harbor development in Florida has been
a steady process over the past 130 years. Florida's
1,500-mile-long coastline is the longest of any state in
the nation. Its natural waterways have a total length
which few other states can surpass. Plorida's natural
harbors did nmuh to attract the first European settle-
ments on the North American continent. At the pres-
ent date, the many improved harbors and waterways
attract industries and commercial and pleasure boats.
Florida has eight seaports with usable depth of 30
or more feet of water. It has another eight with depths
ranging from 21 to 28 feet. Six of its ports, three on
the gulf and three on the atlantic, handled over a
million tons of commerce each during 1955.
Tampa Harbor is Florida's first ranking port and
claims 15th ranking, nation-wide. The harbor is on a
large natural estuary of the Gulf of Mexico located
about midway of the western coast of the peninsula.
Since the first channel improvement in 1899, dredging
has continued over the years to provide depths and
widths suitable for modern commerce. The existing
30-foot depth was completed in 1936. Congress has
since authorized a 34-foot channel. The annual aver-
age commerce handled at the Tampa Harbor has been
about 6i,00),000 tons in recent years. The main pro-
ducts are Iphosphate fertilizer materials, fuel oil, gaso-

line and other petroleum products, and oyster shell.
Jacksonville Harbor ranks second in the state. Coim-
merce handled for the port during 1954 totaled 5,268,-
000 tons. The main products include fuel oil, gasoline
and other petroleum products, gypsum, lumber and(
oyster shell. The port is located on the St. Johns River
about 25 miles from the ocean. The main ship canal
is 34 feet deep. The harbor has the deepest ocean
entrance in Florida having been dredged to 40 feet to
accommodate aircraft carriers for the navy carrier base
near Mayport, just inside the ocean entrance.
Miami Harbor, Florida's third largest port, is unique
in its variety of vessel traffic and its beautiful setting.
The port handled more than 150 different classi-
fications of commodities during 1954, totaling 2,620,000
tons. Its passenger traffic totaled some 500,000. Port
Everglades Harbor, near Ft. Lauderdale on Florida's
lower east coast, is the deepest commercial harbor in
the state. It was originally dredged to 35 feet as a
local enterprise and was taken over as a federal project
in 1930. Since about 1946 is has become an important
oil distribution center. Its water-borne commerce in
1954 totaled 2,884,000 tons, almost half of which was
motor fuel and gasoline.
Other important harbors of the state, ranked ac-
cording to commerce handled during 1954, are Port
St. Joe, Panama City, Charlotte Harbor, Pensacola,
Palm Beach Harbor, St. Petersburg Harbor and Canav-
eral Harbor. Their principal commodities are pe-
troleum products, industrial chemicals, paper and pa-
per products, phosphate fertilizer material, oyster shell,
and limestone.


Florida's waterways are important from both the
commercial and the recreational boating standpoint.
Florida has almost 1,800 miles of improved water-
ways which serve both interests equally well.
The most important waterway in the state from the
standpoint of waterborne commerce tonnage is the
section of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway between
Carabelle, Florida and the Alabama state line. During
1954 a total of about 2 million tons of commerce
travelled over the waterway. The principal commodi-
ties are petroleum products, oyster shell and indus-
trial chemicals.
Second in tonnage is the Intracoastal Waterway
along the Atlantic coast from Fernandina to Key West.
The waterway is 12 feet deep as far south as Eau Gallie.
From Eau Gallie to Miami it is 8 feet deep, and from
Miami to Key West, 5 feet deep. The waterway car-
ried a total of 1,663,000 tons of commerce in 1951.
The main products were gasoline, fuel oil, and lime-


stone. In addition to the commercial traffic, the water-
way serves an extensive fleet of winter vacation pleas-
ure craft which travel between northern points and
southern Florida. Last year, 2,628 passages were re-
corded. The number has been increasing rapidly each
year since the end of World War II. In 1945 only
568 passages were recorded. The Okeechobee Cross
Florida Waterway from Stuart on the east coast
through Lake Okeechobee to Fort Myers Beach on the
gulf is a tributary waterway to the east coast water-
The third ranking waterway, commerce-wise, is the
St. Johns River from Jacksonville upstream some 160
miles to Lake Harney. It was one of the first water-
ways in the state to have commercial importance. Its
early paddlewheel steamer traffic contributed greatly
to the early development of northeast Florida. Today
the river serves a thriving trade in petroleum products,
pulpwood, and fish products. During 1954, over 500,-
000 tons of commerce travelled the waterway.
Other important waterways of the state, ranked ac-
cording to their 1954 commerce, are St. Marks River,
Withlachoochee River, Apalachicola River, LeGrange
Bayou, and the unimproved Intracoastal Waterway
between Caloosahatchee River and Anclote River on
the west coast of the peninsula. As on other Florida
waterways, their principal commodities are petroleum
products, oyster shell, sand and gravel, and fish.
These ports and waterways are only a few of the
more important projects in the state. The accompany-
ing map, Figure 38, shows the authorized federal river
and harbor works which have been completed or are
under construction.

ON JAN I, 1555

Sr-- TA-l4FT.

Scam: SSn ifr

Recreational Use
The recreational use of Florida's water resources
cannot be evaluated quantitatively in a manner simi-.\
lar to that of the other three major users. Water used
for swimming, skiing, boating and the like is rarely,
if ever, subject to transportation or treatment. Rather,
it is used where it is found and such use almost without
exception does not impair its quantity or quality for
other users. For these reasons, it is possible to gain an
appreciation of recreational water use only by demon-
strating the significance of such use to the state's
The amount of money spent to use Florida's waters
for recreational purposes is astounding. Data are pre-
sented to show the magnitude of expenditures by
residents and visitors to the state in 1955. These data
are based on information collected from a number of
sources. Representatives of the Florida Game and
Fresh Water Fish Commission were untiring in their
efforts to collect the facts, as were certain members of
the Florida Wildlife Federation. Among those groups
who furnished information were the Industry Ad-
visory Committee on Statistics of the National Associa-
tion of Engine and Boating Manufacturers, Inc., the
Outboard Boating Club of America, the major out-
board engine and boat manufacturers, the Outdoor
Writers Association, and various sportsmen's organiza-
The game and fresh water fish commission re-
ports that 333,000 fresh water fishing licenses were sold
in Florida in 1955. In addition, it was estimated that
more than 267,000 individuals availed themselves of
the nonlicensing fishing privileges, to give a total of
600,000 fresh water fishermen in the state last year.
Since a license is not required for salt water fishing,
it is likely that an equal number of fishermen in the
state were enjoying the benefits of salt water fishing.
It is estimated that in 1955 people fishing in the
fresh waters of the state expended $121,514,000 for
such things as rental boats and motors, transportation-
to and from the fishing site, depreciation of boats and
outboard motors, expendable tackle, and trailers.
Of the 1,030 licensed airboats in Florida in 1955,
247 were used primarily for commercial purposes, such
as frogging, but the remainder are used primarily for
recreational purposes. Most airboats in Florida are
concentrated in the Everglades region for sport fishing,
sight-seeing, and hunting. Such equipment is rela-
tively expensive to operate and maintain. It is esti-
mated by the game and fresh water fish commission
that the total dollar volume for the recreational use
of airboats amounted to $1,036,000 in 1955.
The game management division of the Florida

Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission have been
collecting data on waterfowl utilization for a number
of years. Expenditures for waterfowl hunting in fresh
water alone include the hunting equipment and use
of boats required to reach the favorable hunting areas.
The value placed on waterfowl in 1955 is estimated
at $1,500,000.
The most common as well as the most expensive
method of enjoying Florida's water resources is recrea-
tional boating. According to information based on
U. S. Coast Guard reports, 100,000 boats used Florida's
waters in 1955. These boats range in size from 16 feet
skulls to large cruisers used on the inland waterways
and bays of the state. There is obviously a wide vari-
ation in the annual operational cost of these craft.
According to the best low estimates available, however,
it is reported that the average maintenance and use
cost per vessel is $500, thus indicating expenditures of
$200,000,000 on maintenance and operation of. these
boats in Florida during 1955. In addition, major out-
board manufacturers report a total sale of $6,500,000
in motors during 1955, to which must be added a re-
ported $13,000,000 of sales of boats and equipment.
During the same period inboard boat purchases with
equipment totaled some $30,000,000. The cost of new
equipment purchased during 1955 is estimated at
$5,000,000 to give a grand total of $255,000,000 ex-
pended for recreational boating in Florida, excluding
the cost of boats less than 16 feet in length.
Commercial frog hunting and the bait fish industry
were valued at about $2,000,000 in 1955.
It is difficult to project the economic figures on
recreational uses into the future. However, the fishing
and boating pressure on Florida's water resources will
undoubtedly continue to increase. Based on present-
day trends, it is estimated that by 1970 at least 500,000
fresh water fishing licenses will be sold each year and
an additional 400,000 people will fish in the fresh
waters of the state without a license. Should this trend
hold the value of sport fishing in fresh water alone will
probably increase to $172,000,000 per year.
The estimated $381,000,000 spent in 1955 for recre-
ational use of the state's fresh water resources con-
stitutes a substantial segment of the state's economy.
The amount spent for salt water sports fishing is also
significant but no current estimates were available
for this report.
From the information shown in this report, some
conception of the magnitude of water usage by the
various beneficial users may be gained. Table 6 pre-
sents in summary form total water use in Florida dur-
ing the year 1956 for municipal and rural, agricul-
tural, and industrial operations. The totals indicate

(All values are in million gallons daily. Note: Water use for
recreation cannot be given quanlitatively.)
County Municipal Agricultural Industrial Total
Alachua 5 1 X 6
Baker X 1 X 1
Bay 4 X 47 51
Bradford 1 1 X 2
Brevard 2 8 X 10
Broward 32 60 158 250
Calhoun X 1 X 1
Charlotte X 30 X 30
Citrus X I X 1
Clay 1 5 10 16
Collier I 13 X 14
Columbia I I X 2
Dade 85 51 115 261
DeSoto I 10 X 11
Dixie X X X X
Duval 46 1 379 426
Escambia 16 X 186 202
Flagler X 6 1 7
Franklin X X X X
Gadsden 3 7 1 11
Gilchrist X X X X
Glades X 34 X 34
Gulf I X 32 33
.Hamilton I 3 X 4
Hardee 1 29 1 31
Hendry 2 46 X 48
Hernando X 1 2 3
Highlands 3 29 75 107
Hillsborough 26 24 20 70
Holmes X I X 1
Indian River 2 42 4 48
Jackson 2 3 120 125
Jefferson I X X 1
Lafayette X 2 X 2
Lake 5 33 11 49
Lee 3 42 X 45
Leon 5 3 X 8
Levy X X 272 272
Liberty X X X X
Madison I I X 2
Manatee 3 16 3 22
Marion 2 8 2 12
Martin 1 23 X 24
Monroe 5 X X 5
Nassau 1 1 51 53
Okaloosa 2 X X 2
Okeechohee X 12 X 12
Orange 18 86 63 167
Osceola 2 5 1 8
Palm Beach 27 300 X 327
Iasco 2 7 25 34
Pinellas 32 15 X 47
Polk 17 66 233 316
Putnam 2 5 69 76
St. Johns 2 26 X 28
St. Lucie 2 77 2 81
Santa Rosa I X X 1
Sarasola 3 14 X 17


County Municipal Agricultural Industrial Total
Seminole 2 13 61 76
Sumter X 4 1 5
Suwannee 1 2 87 90
Taylor I X 26 27
Union I X 1 2
Volusia 10 2 118 130
Wakulla X X 50 50
Walton I X X 1
Washington I X X I
Totals 390 1182 2227 3799
X-indicates an insignificant amount

that some 3,800 m.g.d. were used for various beneficial
purposes during the year, but there are undoubtedly
other operations, such as air-conditioning, which con-
sume significant quantities of water but which have
not been treated in this report. In addition untold
billions of gallons of water are used by individuals
and groups for recreational purposes, but quantitative
valuations of the amount are not possible or prac-
ticable. Earlier sections of this report show, however,
the terrific impact of recreational use upon the state's
An attempt has also been made to project water
use values into the year 1970. The estimations show
that municipal and rural domestic and livestock usage
will increase from about 494 to 790 m.g.d. in 1970,
while water used by the four major industries of the
state will increase from 2,227 to 3,420 m.g.d. The
largest increase percentage-wise is that indicated by
the future demand for irrigation water. The estimates
show that the 1956 average daily use of 1,182 m.g.d.
may be expected to increase to approximately 2,200
m.g.d. giving an increase of 67 per cent. It should
again be emphasized that the indicated rates of water
use are based on the average daily consumption during
the entire year. In actuality, the rates of demand at
any given time may be somewhat lower or considerably
higher than the average values shown. For example,
municipal consumption of water during the warm
summer months often exceeds the average daily con-
sumption by 150 per cent, while the demands for
irrigation water may occur entirely within a period
of two or three months.
In summary the study shows that the rate of water
consumption and use for beneficial purposes in Florida
is rapidly increasing, and the variability of the avail-
able water supplies with time and with place can
create a set of circumstances whereby the water re-
quirements of a given area may exceed the avail-
able amounts during certain periods of the year.


Chemically pure water in nature is practically un-
known. Even the falling rain contains gases and solids
which are absorbed from the atmosphere. Water,
upon reaching the land and passing through the vari-
ous phases of the hydrologic cycle, continues its solvent
action collecting both dissolved and suspended mat-
ter. It is the kind and amount of these impurities
that govern the quality of a given water. In turn the
quality often limits the beneficial uses which are
planned for the water.

Factors Influencing Quality
Topography and geology will influence the quality
of water. Relief of the land, amount of moisture al-
ready present and condition of the land surface, collec-
tively, will determine runoff rate or length of time that
water contacts surface materials. Erosive power of run-
off water will also be determined in part thereby, andt
the physical and chemical quality of the water will
likely be affected.
Carbon dioxide and acids from decaying vegetation
dissolved in water greatly enhance the solution of
calcium, magnesium, and heavy metals frequently
found in waters.
Upland streams generally exhibit an increase in
color and sediment load and a decrease in dissolved
solids during periods of high flow. These conditions
are reversed during periods of minimum flow. Often
this quality characteristic of surface waters is most
significant in determining the usefulness of a given
Conversely, the mineral content of ground water
is relatively constant but is usually higher than surface
waters. Condition, type and physical structure of
geologic formations affect the amount of solids dis-
solved. Primary characteristics of ground water are
an absence of color and suspended sediment and a
nearly uniform temperature.
Man makes drastic changes in water quality for and
during municipal and industrial uses, then later
returns the water, together with water-borne wastes,
to the land and surface streams. Agricultural activities,
accelerated natural erosion, flood control, and reser-
voir construction also affect water quality. In some
coastal areas man's activities have caused sea water
infiltration into fresh ground water, thus altering its
natural quality.

Effect of Quality on Water Use
The effect of water quality on its ultimate use varies
widely, since tolerance limits for the different impuri-

ties also vary greatly depending upon use require-
ments. Quality requirements for one use might be
objectionable in another circumstance. For instance,
some well waters can be used without treatment for
ice manufacture, cooling water, beer or soft drink pro-
duction but may be unsuitable for use as boiler feed
water. Sea water may not be objectionable for use
in swimming pools, but no one would want it for
domestic purposes. A water free from objectionable
chemical constituents might be so contaminated bac-
teriologically that it would be unsuitable for any nor-
mral use, industrial or domestic.
Water for most purposes is acceptable if it is clear,
cool, soft, odorless, noncorrosive, nonscale forming,
palatable, free from pathogenic bacteria and other
organisms, has no physiological effects and is avail-
able in quantity and under sufficient pressure to meet
all flow requirements. Most municipal supplies either
meet these requirements or treatment is arranged to
minimize objectionable characteristics and to satisfy
consumer demands in respect to quantity and pres-
Naturally, water for drinking and cooking purposes
must be free of pathogenic bacteria, protozoa and
other disease-producing organisms. Algae and micro-
organisms must be absent or controlled, as otherwise
they could impart offensive tastes and odors to water.
Toxic inorganic and organic substances are not
commonly found in natural waters, but still we must
be certain that they are absent or in such small con-
centrations as to be below dangerous levels. Arsenic,
lead, selenium and hexavalent chromium must be at
very low levels in water used for human consumption,
and the same applies to barium salts, metal gluoco-
sides and a few other substances. Recommended upper
levels for these and many others in water used in
public systems are given in the 1946 Drinking Water
Standards of the Public Health Service.
Some quality limits are set to avoid unpleasant
taste, whereas others are set to prevent physiological
upsets. Waters containing dissolved sulfides, com-
monly called "sulfur" water; excessive amounts of
iron, copper, chlorides or sulfates; or large amounts
of dissolved solids may be distasteful to most people,
but are not necessarily harmful. However, waters
high in magnesium, especially if sulfates are also high,
may have pronounced laxative effects.
Colored water is generally objectionable because we
are accustomed to clear water. Water containing iron
may have a distinct metallic taste and also be objec-
tionable for most domestic and industrial uses due to
the production of off-colored products.
Most surface waters and many ground waters re-
quire appropriate treatment before the finished water

is suitable for domestic or industrial uses. However,
treatment for one purpose may not be sufficient for
another use, and the water must be tailored to meet
the use requirements. All waters should be analyzed
chemically and bacteriologically before being used
in any manner, since selection of the most suitable
water source may avoid costly corrective measures for
the use contemplated.

Water suitable for municipal and domestic use must
come from relatively uncontaminated fresh water
sources. In order to define the suitability of water
supplies for human consumption, the U. S. Public
Health Service many years ago stated the maximum
concentrations of chemical substances permissible in
water supplied on interstate carriers. These quality
requirements for drinking water have been univer-
sally accepted and adopted by the health departments
of the various states. In addition to being clear, color-
less, odorless, of pleasant taste, and free from toxic
salts, the chemical substances which may be present
in natural or treated waters should preferably not
exceed the following concentrations:

Maximum concentration
(Parts per million)*


Iron (Fe) and Manganese (MnI) combined
Fluoride (F)
Nitrate (NO,)
Magnesium (Mg)
Chloride (CI)
Sulfate (SO,)
Dissolved solids

500 (1,000 per-

Although all approved public water supplies, wheth-
er obtained from ground or surface sources, are
chlorinated before delivery to consumers, many sup-
plies require extensive additional treatment for the
removal of color, and iron, and the reduction of hard-
While the hardness of a supply is seldom the sole
cause for its rejection, it is frequently the characteris-
tic that receives the most attention from both domes-
tic and industrial consumers. When soaps are dis.
solved in water they react with the calcium and mag-
nesium forming an insoluble "curd" which not only:
wastes the soap but also interferes in practically all
washing operations. The presence of excessive hard-
ness produces undesirable results in many industrial
*A unit of mIeasluremlenl to indicate concenlraition. For ex-
ample, I part per million of a substance is equivalent to 8.3 Ibs.
of the substance uniformly distributed in I million gallons of

processes, especially in those operations requiring the
use of large volumes of water.
The hardness data for the larger public supplies of
Florida have been summarized in Table 7 which has
been extracted from Water Survey and Research Paper
No. 6, published in 1951 by the Florida State Board of


Hardness in parts per million Number of cities

0-50 3
51-150 65
151-250 19
251* 9

Industrial quality requirements for water for speci-
fic purposes are about as varied as the number of pur-
poses for which the water is needed. Consequently,
it is impossible to attempt any broad generalization
or simplification on the subject. One characteristic is
important to all industries, however, and that is the
need for relatively constant concentrations of the vari-
ous substances in the water supply. Even if the quality
of untreated water is poor it can generally be altered,
through proper treatment processes, to serve the need
at hand. A uniform concentration of impurities in
the process water minimizes the attention and ex-
pense required to operate the process.
Nevertheless, an industry will seek an area where
the quality of water is such that the cost of treatment
is low. This factor undoubtedly contributes to the
industrial growth of extreme northwest Florida. The
ground water of Escambia and Santa Rosa counties is
of exceptional quality. Analyses of water from mu-
nicipal wells at Pensacola have shown total solids con-
centrations of less than 20 parts per million.
It is also true, however, that availability of water
is only of relative importance and many other factors
influence plant location. Within certain economic
limits, any available water can be altered so that its
quality will meet the most critical demands.
The quality requirements for water used in agri-
culture are almost as diverse as those for industrial
water, owing to the many uses of water in an agri-
cultural economy. In addition to the need for a safe
and adequate supply of drinking water for the farmer

and his family, water may be required for sanitary
purposes, cleansing of dairy and other equipment, ir-
rigation, and the watering of stock and wildlife.
Although the quality requirements for irrigation
are in general less exacting than those for domestic
use, no single standard has been devised that will
apply to all areas of the country. The classification
of irrigation waters as to good or bad must take into
account numerous factors, among which are: agri-
cultural practices, climate, nature of the soil and crop
tolerances. Good soil drainage may be a nore impor-
tant factor than water quality, for even good waters
on poorly drained land may not produce good crops.
On the other hand, relatively highly mineralized wa-
ters may often be used successfully on open-textured,
well-drained soils. However, since a good soil may be
removed from production by the unwise irrigation
with water of poor quality, a knowledge is required of
the chemical quality of potential irrigation supplies.
Florida's waters have not been so investigated and
Consideration of water quality criteria from the
recreational and related viewpoints stems primarily
from quality alterations by man rather than from natu-
ral quality. Included among this category of beneficial
use are quality requirements for wildlife feeding and
watering, propagation of fish and other aquatic life,
shellfish production, swimming and bathing, boating
and esthetic enjoyment, water power, and navigation.
The variety of requirements for these beneficial uses
again prohibits generalization, but in each instance
there are quality limits which, if exceeded, will di-
minish or even destroy the usefulness of the water for
the purpose intended.
The constituents in water that are of most interest
to this beneficial use include dissolved oxygen, hydro-
gen sulfide, ammonia, suspended matter, toxicants,
acidity, and bacteria. For each impurity an excess
or a deficit can alter the water quality beyond nature's
ability to repair within a reasonable length of time.

Available Water Quality Data
In quality investigations of surface waters it is found
that tributaries, rainfall, and mineralization from
ground and surface leaching provide a water of rapidly
changing mineral concentration. Because of the ra-
pidity of these changes, daily samples are almost a
necessity in order to define the character of the water.
By obtaining samples this frequently and for an ade-
quate period, concentration ranges of the constituents
may be established. In addition, extreme variations
may be noted, together with their causes, and allow-

ances made accordingly in preparation for the utili-
zation of these supplies.
Underground movement of water is considerably
slower than that of surface water and consequently re-
quires less frequent determinations. The program
necessary for the proper study of ground water sources
requires the collection of sufficient samples to show
the mineral content and temperature of water from
the different formations; detection of changes in
chemical quality with pumping and with season of
the year; evaluation of possible effects of induced in-
filtration on the chemical quality of the supply; ex-
ploration of possible sources of salt water encroach-
ment or other contamination as determined by certain
constituents in solution; and the relation of mineral
concentration to direction of ground water movement
and sources of recharge.
Following intensive studies of an area, sufficient in-
dex stations should be maintained on a continuing
basis for both surface and ground water locations.
Thus, alterations in the quality may be detected and
harmful influences prevented whenever possible.

Surface Water
Intensive studies of surface water quality have been
made on a few restricted areas of the state. One of
the most comprehensive investigations to date is that
made in southeastern Florida during the seven-year
period beginning in 1939. As a result of salt-water
encroachment in the Miami area, together with a
search for available water supplies, investigations were
made of the general Dade County area including.
water sources up to and beyond Lake Okeechobee.
The results of these findings have been made available
by the published report "Water Resources of South-
eastern Florida," U. S. Geological Survey Water Supply
Paper 1255.
Other studies of somewhat lesser magnitude have
been or are being conducted in other areas of Florida.
Figure 39 shows the current quality of water stations
by location and type. In addition to those shown
there is need for some 30 daily stations, 140 periodic
stations and 25 index stations to give adequate cov-
erage of the state.
In many instances correlations are made between
certain chemical constituents and discharge. When
sufficient data are available, such correlations can be
of considerable value in showing the probable limits
of concentration that might be expected beyond those
actually observed. When such correlations point out
that at certain discharge values excessive mineral con-
centrations are to be expected, preventive measures
such as the installation and maintenance of controls
may provide a supply that is adequate for most needs.



S1956 OR 1957
OCTOBER 1956 OR 1957


An illustration of such correlations may be seen in
Figure 40 showing the relationship between discharge
and selected quality characteristics of the St. Johns
River at DeLand.
Ground Water
Increased demands on available water supplies
with resultant increases of mineralization from salt
water encroachment and intrusion have directed at-
tention rather forcibly to the realization of the need
for more information on present and potential water
sources. Specific studies have been made in some
instances to meet the immediate need, but for the
most part, programming for the future is lacking.
Such planning is needed to ascertain proper utiliza-
tion and control of these resources. Figures 33 and 34
show the areas where the water resources have been
subjected to study and evaluation both quantitatively
and qualitatively. In addition the section on water
pollution describes the qualitative influence of mu-
nicipal and industrial wastes on Florida's waters.

Thus, we see that quality has a direct and important
effect on the way we use water to satisfy our needs
and desires.
Some factors affecting water quality are natural.
Others are the result of man's activities-industrial and
municipal pollution. Still others might be considered
as both natural and man-made, such as increased color
and silt content, due to farming or other operations,
or salt-water encroachment due to excessive pumping
of ground water or overdraining in some areas.
In order to protect the quality of our water re-
sources, it is essential that every practicable effort be
made to control floods, protect our watersheds and
hold soil erosion to a minimum and wisely develop
underground water supplies in critical areas. '

~4LB c



Pollution is the addition of any substance to water
that interferes with beneficial uses or is detrimental
or potentially detrimental to animal, plant or aquatic
life. It must be remembered, however, that water,
a universal diluent, is rarely found in its pure state.
Almost everything man does with water causes some
deterioration in its quality. Pollution of water is a
natural result of water use.

Degrees of Pollution

Water is essential for most of man's activities. One
of its important uses is the carrying away of waste
materials of which there are many kinds. Some can
be handled in limited amounts without damage to
the resource. Treatment will permit the satisfactory
handling of other types of waste without damage.
Some inorganic wastes of industry reduce the effec-
tiveness of treatment processes applicable to organic
wastes and must be handled separately. Other wastes
are toxic or otherwise harmful. Wastes dumped into
watercourses or permitted to find their way into under-
ground aquifers can render the water unsuitable for
further use. These are problems in pollution.
The natural activity of water provides some puri-
fication of organic wastes since any body of water has
a natural waste-assimilating capacity. Inorganic wastes
are generally accumulative. Both man-made and
natural impurities tend to increase in the water. The
value of water resources is limited by their usability
(quality) as well as quantity and heavily polluted
waters should never be used if any other water is

The resources of a stream can best be safeguarded
Sby controlled use. The total resources of a stream
cannot be stored for a future clay nor are they de-
pleted by proper use. Thus, unlike most of our
natural resources the water resources of a stream can
be utilized by this generation yet passed on to future
generations still unharmed.
It is inevitable that quality of water will be altered
when it is used. The control of pollution therefore
is a problem of critical importance. The method of
control will vary with the degree and type of pollu-
tion. The degrees of pollution may be classified as
1. Natural pollution-no use of the resources by
man; the water picks up impurities from the
earth's cover, its soil and minerals.
2. Permissible pollution-planned use of the water
resources with good abatement practices.
3. Allowable limited pollution-reasonable over-
loading of streams which reduces the full use-
fulness of the water resources for a limited zone
without damage to other beneficial water users.
4. Excessive or gross pollution-misuse; destruc-
tion of the water resource.
There are some areas in Florida where gross pollu-
tion exists, but in no case does gross pollution extend
more than a few miles, and few cases can be cited
where pollution is restricting the total use of a stream
for a beneficial purpose. It can almost be said that
Florida has no water so seriously polluted that it can-
not be recovered. These statements must be qualified,
however, for there are cases where the uses are partially
restricted, and there are indications that these pollu-
tion conditions will become increasingly more serious
unless corrective or preventive action is taken.

Municipal Wastes
The chief detrimental characteristics associated with
the discharge of untreated or inadequately treated
sewage into surface and underground waters are: (1)
unhealthy concentrations of disease bacteria; (2) de-
pletion of dissolved oxygen; (3) unsightly floating
solids and turbidity; (4) odors; and (5) stimulation
of aquatic plant growth.
Item (1) is the most frequently observed detrimen-
tal characteristic in Florida. The most important use
which might be limited by sewage pollution is use of
water for a public water supply. The only streams in
Florida from which water is taken for municipal use
and receiving some degree of pollution upstream are
the Peace River, the Hillsborough River, and Mos-
quito Creek in ;adsden County. The Peace River
has been receiving raw sewage for many years from

Fort Meade, Wauchula and Arcadia. Previously, sev-
eral other cities, including Lakeland, Winter Haven,
Bartow and Lake Wales, discharged raw or inade-
quately treated sewage to that stream, but modern
sewage treatment plants have been constructed for
all of these, as well as for Auburndale and Punta
A recent report by the state board of health shows
that while population increases have been quite rapid,
the construction of sewage treatment plants in the
Peace River basin has not paralleled this growth.
The result has been a gradual increase in bacterial
density at the water intake for Arcadia. The upstream
municipalities are aware of the seriousness of the
situation. A sewerage improvement project has been
initiated at Fort Meade. A consulting engineer has
been retained to study the problem at Wauchula, and
a similar project is being initiated at Arcadia.
The Hillsborough River is used as a source of water
for the City of Tampa. About five miles above the
water plant intake, well-treated sewage effluent is dis-
charged into the stream from a small subdivision, and
individual homes served by septic tanks and pit privies
are located at numerous points on the watershed. The
sewage treatment plant for Plant City also discharges
well-treated effluent into the drainage basin, but since
the course of flow includes Lake Thonotosassa, it is
doubtful that any measurable effect at the Tampa
water inlet could be attributed to the Plant City
sewage pollution.
Mosquito Creek in Gadsden County has been im-
pounded to provide a source of water for the Florida
State Hospital at Chattahoochee. The creek receives
no pollution in Florida, but there are several small
communities in its drainage basin in Georgia, and
moderate bacterial pollution has been encountered.
Bacterial pollution also limits the use of tidal waters
for the growing and harvesting of shellfish. Sizable
areas near Fernandina, Jacksonville, St. Augustine,
Ormond-Daytona Beach, Port Orange, New Smyrna,
Vero Beach, Fort Pierce, Sebastian, Lake Worth, Palm
Beach, Bradenton, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Tarpon
Springs, Panama City, Pensacola, Milton, Fort Myers,
Sarasota, Clearwater, Homosassa, Spring Creek, and
Apalachicola have been closed for taking of shellfish
because of domestic sewage pollution. Improved sew-
age treatment facilities have recently been installed
by many of these cities, and a number of others are
planning to do so. There is no doubt that major re-
visions of condemned area maps will be required as
soon as limited personnel can make the necessary sur-
Sewage treatment plants have been completed with-
in the past several years or are being installed at the

following cities: Fernandina, Daytona Beach, West
Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Bradenton, Tampa, St.
Petersburg, Tarpon Springs, Clearwater, Panama City,
Pensacola, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Long Key, Punta
Gorda, and Safety Harbor. Jacksonville, St. Augustine
and the City of Lake Worth are reported preparing
plans, and several other coastal cities are making feasi-
bility studies.
Bacterial pollution can limit the use of waters for
recreational purposes. The St. Johns River near Jack-
sonville, Green Cove Springs, Palatka and Sanford is
in that category. Areas of the intercoastal water ad-
jacent to St. Augustine, Daytona Beach, New Smyrna
Beach, Titusville, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Del-
ray Beach, Boca Raton, Vero Beach, New Port Richey,
Crystal River and others are polluted to the extent
that swimming is prohibited, but the following cities
have completed or are completing sewerage improve-
ments expressly to protect these waters from sewage
pollution: Fernandina, Neptune Beach, Jacksonville
Beach, Daytona Beach, Cocoa Beach, Melbourne,
Stuart, Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauder-
dale, Hollywood, North Miami, North Bay Village,
Miami, Coral Gables, Homestead, Fort Myers, Punta
Gorda, Sarasota, Bradenton, St. Petersburg, Long Key,
Treasure Island, Madeira Beach, Largo, Safety Harbor,
Tampa, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs, Carra-
belle, Port St. Joe, Panama City, Fort Walton and
Fresh waters can also be polluted to such an extent
that recreational use is limited. Surveys have shown
the following streams and lakes to be in that category:
Lake Dora, Lake Tsala Apopka near Inverness, por-
tions of Peace River as previously described, and part
of Crescent Lake. Undoubtedly many others are in
this category but have not been surveyed.
Many sewage treatment plants have been construc-
ted in inland cities for the protection of recreational
waters. Still others were constructed where the effluent
must be discharged into ditches or waterways of little
or no flow. Such cities as Lake City, Gainesville, Ocala,
Orlando, Leesburg, Dade City, Kissimmee, St. Cloud,
Eustis, Williston, Madison, Jasper, Tallahassee, Chat-
tahoochee, Graceville, DeFuniak Springs, Niceville,
Crestview, and Chipley have completed or are con-
structing plants to protect surface and underground
fresh waters, and engineering reports from Live Oak
and Wildwood indicate that the last remaining dis-
charges of untreated sewage into underground waters
may soon be eliminated.
In addition to the cities listed above, many sub-
divisions, private corporations and institutions have
constructed sewage treatment facilities so that in spite
of huge population gains the actual quantity of in-







sufficiently treated sewage reaching surface waters
has been markedly reduced. As an illustration, the
population served by municipal sewerage in Florida
has increased from 746,000 in 1940 to 1,635,000 in
1956. There are 267 sanitary sewerage systems in the
state which are classified as public systems. However,
this points out the fact that over 2,000,000 people in
the state are being served by individual septic tanks,
thus verifying the term "The Septic Tank State" often
applied to Florida.
As a result of all this activity, it appears safe to
state there is no major area in the state where oxygen
depletion or stream bed odors can be attributable to

PLANTS 10iS-196B

domestic sewage. A few tributary streams adjacent to
larger cities are devoid of oxygen occasionally, but
most of these are attributable to industrial wastes
rather than domestic sewage.
Figure 41 shows the August 31, 1956 status of sewer-
age systems in Florida.

Industrial Wastes
Wastes from industries are as varied and as complex
as the industries themselves. Such wastes may contain
organic matter similar to that found in sewage, or
they may contain other materials such as oils, acids,
greases, chemicals and mineral salts. Some wastes are





toxic. Some are extremely difficult to treat while others
can be treated by methods similar to those used in
the treatment of domestic sewage. At times it is ad-
vantageous to treat industrial waste with domestic
Figure 12 shows the distribution of the major in-
dustries in Florida that may have liquid wastes.
Industrial wastes are partly responsible for the low
oxygen content of tidal waters near Pensacola, of
tributary streams near Jacksonville and Palatka on
the St. Johns River, of portions of lakes in the chain
feeding the Oklawaha River, of streams and lakes
tributary to the Peace River, of many lakes and bodies



of water near or adjacent to citrus processing plants,
and at times of portions of the Withlacoochee River
of the south. Industrial waste is also responsible for
odors, oxygen depletion and unsightly conditions in
streams tributary.to Tampa Bay and particularly Palm
Industrial pollution in the form of acids or fluorides
or both has markedly affected the biological balance
in both the Peace and Alafia River basins, and mining
wastes in these streams have in the past been a major
Here again much has been accomplished. The de-
velopment of by-products and in-plant process changes

has been most lucrative. Waste treatment to permit'
the reuse of wash water in the phosphate processing 1
field and treatment of citrus and paper wastes to re-
duce their pollutional potentials have done much to
eliminate previously important waste problems.
Recent trends toward the development of large
assembly plants in Pinellas County, of large synthetic
fiber plants in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, of
larger and more phosphate processing plants in Polk
and Hillsborough counties and of more and larger
paper mills throughout north Florida indicate that
this is no time to relax. If Florida is to hold its own,
it must intensify its efforts to prevent new pollution
and to reduce existing pollution. Signs of future de-
velopments indicate that radioactive wastes may be-
come important in Florida, and it is necessary for
water pollution control authorities to begin now to
determine background radiation in anticipation of
these developments.
Probably the three most highly polluted streams in
the state are the Fenholloway River below Foley, the
tidal streams tributary to the Amelia River near Fer-
nandina, and Rice Creek near Palatka. The first two
of these areas are in counties having special laws
declaring them "industrial areas" and the surface
waters usable for industrial purposes not interfering
with navigation (see p. 8).

Ground-Water Pollution
Florida is unique in that waters of varying degrees
of pollution have been discharged into underground
waters for many years. Until recent years consider-
able quantities of municipal sewage as well as highly
organic industrial wastes were being disposed of in
this manner. By prohibiting the use of drainage wells
for discharge of highly polluted wastes from new in-
stallations the number of obviously unsatisfactory
installations has been reduced to the point that only
two small cities and three or four sizable industries
are known to discharge untreated organic wastes into
drainage wells, and both of the cities are attempting to
initiate sewage treatment projects.
There are a few cases, only seven for which permits
have been issued, where highly treated sewage is dis-
charged into drainage wells, but most of these wells
are cased to a stratum in which the water is high in
chlorides. There are also 34 permits outstanding for
the discharge of treated industrial wastes into fresh
water strata and 123 permits in force for the discharge
of industrial wastes into salt water strata. Most of
the industrial installations, which includes 122 in
Dade County and 22 in Broward County, are for
small self-service laundries, and many of these are

provided with waste treatment devices.
A much more serious consideration from the in-
dustrial water supply viewpoint is the discharge of
heated water into drainage wells. Many of our major
industries must have cool water to operate. There is
a definite possibility that in highly developed and
industrialized areas the ground water may be heated
to the extent that expensive cooling will be required
before the water can be used to cool barometric con-
densers, air conditioning equipment, or similar uses.
By far the greatest increase in the discharge of cool-
ing water into the ground has been brought about by
the unprecedented growth of air-conditioning in-
stallations. Permits have been issued for more than
1,663 drainage wells to receive uncontaminated cooling
waters. Of these over 1,300 are in Dade County. In
addition there are probably at least an equal number
of unpermitted wells for which no record is available.
The state board of health issues permits for drainage
wells, and it has been the policy to prevent any in-
crease in the amount of highly polluted waste being
discharged into the ground. Heat, however, has not
been considered a pollutant and drainage wells termi-
nating in fresh water strata are permitted for water
passing through closed cooling systems without con-
tact with the atmosphere.
Figure 43 shows the distribution of known drainage
wells in Florida.

Present Status of Pollution Abatement
In the past many of our surface and underground
waters were grossly polluted by municipal and in-
dustrial wastes. Fortunately, however, an accelerated
and intelligent program of pollution abatement has
kept the problem within bounds. In some areas ma-
jor gains are to be noted. For example, in 1940, ade-
quate sewage treatment was provided for wastes from
only 9.7 per cent of our sewered population, whereas
77 per cent of the domestic sewage was adequately
treated before discharge in 1956. During this period
the state's population had more than doubled.
Moreover, cooperative programs with some indus-
tries have provided marked improvement in waters
receiving their wastes. For example, the Pasco Packing
Company at Dade City, which processes concentrated
orange juice and manufactures cattle feed, molasses
and vitamins, has reduced its wastes and has provided
means of handling its reduced wastes. Pollution has
been abated and the receiving stream is returning to
normal conditions. A 1956 survey by the state board
of health found the Withlacoochee River, south, in the
Pasco County area once again a healthy stream.
The National Container Corporation has provided
treatment for the wastes from its Clyatteville, Georgia,






mill which discharges into the Withlacoochee River,
north, in Madison and Hamilton counties. It has
been able to obtain a 98 per cent reduction in the
strength of the wastes, thus preventing undesirable
reduction of quality.
In summary, it can again be stated that in com-
parison with many heavily populated industrial states,
Florida has no major pollution problems. The present
pollution abatement program is a sound one and real
progress has been made within recent years. Much
remains to be done, however, and the program needs
to be strengthened by making additional funds avail-
able to the board of health. By the continued support
of municipal and state leaders, of major portions of

industry, and of the public, the Florida State Board of
Health as the official water pollution control agency
should be able to prevent any irrevocable scars and
yet permit the continued growth of population and
industry in the state.


The pattern of beneficial use of water resources in
Florida is greatly influenced by the agricultural use
of the land. We have already seen that there are
times when the temporal distribution of rainfall does
not make the optimum amount of water available for
the production of farm commodities. In other words

~s~c~b '

the amount of water available to the soil is frequently
either too large or too small to facilitate maximum
production. When this occurs it is sometimes eco-
nomical to control the amount of water available in
the soil by either drainage or irrigation. How im-
portant, though, is water control to Florida's agricul-
tural empire? A partial answer to this question may
be obtained by examining present land use and water
control practices in the state. The water requirements
for such practices are discussed in the section de-
scribing water use in Florida.
Figure 14 illustrates how land can be damaged when
droughts reduce the vegetative cover and the soil

How Our Lands are Used
This state contains approximately 34,727,500 acres
of land. The census of agriculture for 1954 showed
that about 12 per cent of the total land area was in
crop land available for citrus, truck, field and mis-
cellaneous crops. Five and one-half per cent was in im-
proved pastures while 62 per cent was classified as
forest land, much of which was pastured. The role of
farming in the state's economy is very important not-
withstanding the fact that less than 48 per cent of
the state land area was in farms and pastures, of which
less than one-fourth was in crop. land.

It is significant, however, that the proportion of
land in farms has increased steadily during the past
half century. Farm acreage apparently increased at
a rapid rate over the entire state except for sections
in northeast Florida. According to the census of agri-
culture only 24 per cent of the land areas was reported
as farm land in 19-10, and in 1945 only 38 per cent.
However, the apparent rapid expansion in the area
reported as farm land during the last 16 years does
not represent a comparable expansion in cultivation
and grazing in Florida. It represents only a limited
expansion of agricultural land plus large areas which
were fenced and reported as farm land for the first
time. There is every indication that the trend will
The acreage of improved pasture in the state is
expected to increase even more rapidly. Assuming
beef cattle production triples by 1970, as much as 3.5
million additional acres of pasture may be improved.
However, when facilities to control water effectively
are installed, it may be possible to raise enough forage
in 2 million acres to feed the increased number of
cattle in 1970.
Table 8 shows the current land use picture in
Florida. This information was compiled from the
most recent and best sources of information available.
Unfortunately, a further breakdown on the land use


,_ Is. I "'


FIGURE 44.-Wind Erosion in Gilchrist County. (Photo courtesy of the Soil Conservation Service.)

(All figures are in 1,000 acres)
SUnim-; Misc.8
County Total' 1.and' Cilrus:t Truck Field-. Improved' proved Farm- Other"
Area Area Crops Crops Pasture IasItur land

Alachna --..-.
Baker ..
Bay .....
Citrus ..
Cla ...... .....
Collier .....-
Dade .....-
DeSoto ..
Dixie ...
Duval ..
Fscambia ..- -.
Flagler .......... .
Franklin .....
Gadsden .....
Gilchrist ..
Glades .-- ...
Gulf ..... .-.
Hamilton ........
Hardee ...............
Hendry ................
Hernando .....
Hillsborough ...
Holmes -
Indian River .....
Jackson .... ....--
Jefferson ......--....
Lafayette ........ ....
Lake ..--...-
Lee -------

Levy .................
Liberty ....-....--
Madison .... ........
Manatee ............
Marion .....--
Martin ......
Monroe .......
Nassau ..
Okaloosa ....
Okeechohcce ......
Orange .............
Osceola ........
Palm Beach .....
Pasco .......
Pinellas .... .....
Polk. ..... ...-
Putnam -- .
St. Johns ..........
St. Lucie ....... ..
Santa Rosa ..- ....
Sarasota .......
Seminole .............
Sumter ...... .
Suwannee ..........
Taylor ............
Union ........... ...
Volusia ....--
Wakulla .. -
Walton .- ...-
Washington ..



TOTALS ........ 37,478.6 34,727.5 564.9 323.0 1,469.9 1,922.7 I 10585.6 I 1727.9 18,142.5

*-Indicates negligible acreage
I & 2-Fromn Florida Coountie.s and Slate Economlic Areas, U. S.
Dept. of Commncce, Burcau of the census 1950 ccnsius of
a-Tlotal of all varieties ol citrus trees of all ages divided by 65
(average number of tree; "per acre).
4-Vegetables harcsted for sale.
s-Excludes vegetables but includes grains, leguices hay. pI-
latoes, cotton, tobacco, sliugarcane. amnd Iruit oilier tIhan cilirus.

-(:ropl;and used only for pasture plus improved pasture.
--Woodland pastured plus other pasture less improved paslure.
s-Other land in farms including cropland not harvested and
not pastured alnd including woodlands.
u--Remainder of land in county not accounted for in 3 through
SGeneral-data in 3 through 8 is taken from the 1955 agriculture

































listed as "other" could not be made because the neces-
sary information was not available. These 18,142,500'
acres represent areas in municipal and industrial sites. I
military reservations, pulblic-owned lands and similar
developments. Also, much of the land listed under
unimproved pasture, miscellaneous farm land and
"other" consists of forest land.
Citrus Groves
The citrus industry in Florida has made giant
strides since 1920. The acreage planted in citrus of
all kinds in that year was 84,100. This acreage in-
creased by 315 per cent in the years 1920 to 1933, when
the total acreage was 265,400. By the end of 1954
the total grove acreage amounted to 564,900. Future
plantings may bring the total acreage to 765,000 by
According to the 1955 Annual Summary of the
Florida Crop and Livestock Reporting Service, the
value of citrus produced in Florida in the 1954-55
season was $144,957,000 on the trees. When processed
and marketed, the crop value of citrus was in excess
of $365,500,000 f.o.b. Florida. Computed on the basis
of the 1956 total acreage, the average gross value of
citrus crops on the trees was $256 per acre. This high
value indicates the economic desirability of controlling
the water supply whenever required in many citrus
Vegetable and Other Crops
Florida acreage planted in vegetables was almost
100,000 acres in 1920. This was doubled by 1940,
and rose to 321,000 acres in 1956. It is likely that
Florida will continue to operate as the winter vege-
table garden for the United States. The Florida State
Marketing Bureau reports that the state f.o.b. sales
for vegetables (less potatoes) during the 1954-55 sea-
son were $169,150,000. These operations also give a
high gross return per acre and again demonstrate the
desirability of irrigation practices whenever they may
be needed.
General Field Crops
General field crops are still important in certain
sections of the state. As indicated by Table 8, ap-
proximately 1.5 million acres were devoted to field
crops in 1954 for a farm value of $91,982,000. Exten-
sive irrigation practices are unlikely on the acreage
included in this category except for tobacco, potatoes,
and other high unit value crops.
Pasture Land
The Florida State Marketing Bureau reports gross
sales of $83,9.13,000 from cattle and dairy products

during the 1954-55 season. Referring to Table 8, it
may be seen that this income was obtained primarily
from the use of about 1.9 million acres of improved
pasture land, plus about 10.6 million acres of un-
improved pasture. It is in this general area that a
1956 report of the Florida Board of Control points
out the largest change. The report indicates that by
1970 livestock will probably become the most im-
portant farm crop in the state. The increase in acreage
of improved pasture will undoubtedly increase the
necessity for controlling water in areas where such
water may be obtained at low cost.

Water Control Practices
At first glance, it would appear that Florida's abun-
dant water resources would be sufficient for any land-
use operation. Other sections of this report have
shown, however, that the supply of water from rain-
fall is sporadic, and that there are periods during
the growing seasons when it is essential to control
the amount of w-ater in the soil to obtain maximum
crop yields.
According to a survey of county agents made by
T. C. Skinner of the Agricultural Extension Service,
there were about 16,200 water control systems operated
in the state in 1956. A breakdown of the survey data
shows that 41 per cent of the systems were of the
perforated pipe type, 25 per cent were of the furrow
type, 21 per cent were of the sprinkler type, and 13
per cent were of other types. The perforated pipe and
sprinkler systems are used mainly for irrigation, while
the other systems may serve a dual function of re-
moving water during periods of excess or adding
water in periods of shortage. Individual systems were
used to water areas ranging from about one to several
hundred acres, with an average area served per system
of 44 acres.
Irrigation water for the systems was obtained from
both surface and ground water supplies. The 1956
survey shows that 69 per cent of the systems used wells
as a source of supply, 28 per cent used surface sources.
Although no information is available, it is likely that
systems supplied from wells were used to irrigate
areas of much smaller average acreage than the sys-
tems which use surface waters as a source of supply.
From these data, we have seen that the practice of
controlling water in the soil has already become com-
mon in Florida. It is evident that in future years
when periods of rainfall deficit or excess occur during
the growing season, these existing water control sys-
tems will continue to be used. Such periods are ex-
perienced almost every year. Other systems will also
be installed where it may be shown that water control

practices are economically feasible. Continued growth
of the controlled acreage will create additional de-
mands upon the state's water resources as the agri-
cultural potential of Florida becomes more fully rea-
lized. The problem is conserving water and making
it available as needed.
These data indicate, too, that land use has a direct
bearing on the manner and extent water is used in
our economy.
We should keep in mind, also, that the way lands
are managed has a bearing on the quality and quantity
of our water resources. The manner in which lands
are used for the production of crops and cattle, the
way forests are managed and the way other lands are
handled determine to a considerable degree the
amount of erosion debris in our streams. Land man-
agement affects, to some extent, patterns of -runoff
and stream flow.
This further emphasizes the importance of sound
programs of flood control, soil and water conserva-
tion, drainage, watershed protection, and related
programs. Practicing sound land and water man-
agement helps to insure the quality and quantity of
our water resources.

Florida has about 1,300 miles of general shoreline,
not including islands. Sandy beaches comprise no less
than 800 miles of the shoreline. These beaches are
without doubt some of the finest and cleanest in ex-
istence. Without them it is doubtful whether our
warm climate alone would attract nearly as many
winter residents and tourists. Not only are the beaches
an economic asset, because of the resorts which have
developed near them, but they are also a source of
health and recreation for a large part of the perma-
nent residents of the state.
No less than one-third of the income in Florida
comes from tourists, and statistics show that the
tourist business is developing very fast. Moreover,
more and more people are establishing permanent
homes in Florida. During the period 1950-54 the an-
nual increase in population was about 200,000 or
roughly 7 per cent of the population.
These facts indicate the tremendous importance of
beaches to the economy of the state.

Present Situation in Regard to Erosion
In order to understand the present situation in re-
gard to beach erosion, it might be worth while to
consider Florida's beach geology.
Florida was built of sand on a footing of limestone.
Sand for this process came from the Appalachian high-
land, where it was first carried to the sea by streams

and then drifted southward along the shoreline due
to the action of waves and currents. Inland in Florida
we find an enormous system of old beach ridges. These
indicate that Florida was built up as a huge recurved
spit. When the sea withdrew during the last glacial
stage, it never rose again to a level higher than its
present one, but a period of erosion of the shoreline
started. The eroded material drifted along the shore-
line, and some of it was deposited in barriers, spits,
recurved spits, and tombolos.
Beach erosion is caused by the action of waves and
currents which move the material along the shore in
what is usually called the littoral drift. Wave action
is almost always the predominant factor on the open
seashore, while currents play an important role at
channels and inlets.
Erosion starts when more material is carried away
from a coastal area than is deposited within the same
area. One can distinguish between the natural erosion,
which is a result of a long-range geological, and the
climatological development by which land and water
masses are still trying to find a balance. Such erosion
is generally rather slow and is demonstrated by a re-
cession of the shoreline of less than one foot per year.
In Florida we find such erosion on the Atlantic coast
between Marineland and Daytona Beach. This section
is fairly stable even though erosion occurs at some
Unfortunately it is very easy to disturb the natural
balance. Nature does it sometimes when inlets break
through barriers. Examples are Ponce de Leon inlet
on the Atlantic coast and Longboat Pass on the gulf
coast. The influence of such inlets is manifested by
accretion on the updrift side encroaching upon the
tidal channel, causing erosion of the downdrift shore.
This situation may worsen if the inlet is improved-
that is, when a canal is dredged across the shoal outside
the inlet, or when one or two jetties are built, or both.
It is a well-known fact that the biggest enemy of the
beaches is the improved inlet, because it interrupts
the littoral drift along the shore, accumulating sand
on one side and creating increased erosion problems
on the downdrift side.
Where erosion problems occur as a combination of
natural erosion and man-made erosion caused by an
interruption of the littoral drift by an improved inlet,
man-made erosion will almost always predominate
and become much more serious than natural erosion.
Our problems at Fernandina Beach, Jacksonville
Beach, St. Lucie inlet, Lake Worth inlet, and South
Lake Worth inlet are examples of this development
whereby navigation has been improved at the cost of
serious erosion problems on the downdrift side of the
v inlet. The shoreline at these locations has been re-

I -
-~wLr~i re~yrr- -

FIGURE 45.-Erosion Damage at Jacksonville Beach-1956.
(Photo courtesy of Florida Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station.)

ceding at a rate up to 10 ft. per year. Through the
years land has been lost and highways and buildings
have been totally destroyed.
An eroding beach has an appearance of devastation.
Jacksonville Beach in early 1956 was a scene of broken
sea walls of various kinds, and the stretch along the
gulf coast of St. Petersburg showed a tragic aftermath
of destroyed groins and sea walls (see Figure 45). In
both cases remnants of former coastal protection works
do much more harm than good by causing heavy
turbulence and eddies which intensify erosion.
Along many Florida shorelines there is the problem
of sand drift caused by the wind which has blown holes
in the dune line. This sand drift causes trouble to
roads and property adjacent to the coast and weakens
the dune line. It may be a natural phenomenon, or it
can be man-made when developments are made in the
dune line without proper arrangements for damping
the sand drift by replanting vegetation or similar

Present Situation
in Regard to Coastal Protection
Natural coastal protection results from the con-
figuration of the shoreline. A headland protruding
from the shoreline acts as a jetty or a groin. Islands
and reefs act as breakwaters and often cause material
to be accumulated behind them, such as the reefs at
Cape Canaveral. Accumulations of stones from land
areas which have been eroded, or outcroppings of
rock or shell act as sea walls or breakwaters, such as
the coquina outcroppings on the Florida east coast,
while rivers supply material to the beaches in a way
similar to arrangements for artificial nourishment.
Along the Florida shorelines there is little natural
coastal protection. There are no real headlands. The
coquina and shell outcroppings are too soft to form
headlands, but in some cases they act as sea walls or
submerged breakwaters. As a general rule, we may say
that the maintenance of Florida beaches depends on

the natural equilibrium between supply of material
and erosion of material, which unimproved and iim-
proved inlets have so seriously interrupted.
At the same time the situation in Florida has been
that more and more beaches have been developed-
creating some of our most prosperous communities.
Additional developments are now underway at greatly
increased rates. Valuable additions are thereby being
made to property values in the state. But the greater
part of the beaches in Florida are eroding, although
the rate of erosion is not uniform. Buildings, roads
and other permanent installations fronting these
beaches are liable to damage sooner or later.
There has been a tendency to try almost any method
which seems to furnish protection at the least cost.
Types of constructions which have been found to be
undesirable elsewhere, for example permeable groins,
have been built in Florida recently. The results have
been disappointing almost without exception. There
are many examples of such work, conceived in despera-
tion and built with almost complete lack of knowl-
edge of the elements of the problem.
There is need for a major improvement of this
situation. To meet the needs for a research program
to cover all our beaches and for securing information
for beach-front owners and communities in regard to
what to do and what to avoid, the 1951 session of the
Florida legislature made a biennium appropriation of
$25,000 to the Water Survey and Research Division
for studies on beach erosion problems of the whole
state. A like amount was granted in 1955 for the same
purpose to the Engineering and Industrial Experi-
ment Station at the Un:versity of Florida.
This Commission recognizes that our beaches and
shorelines are of tremendous importance to the econ-
omy of the state. It seems, then, that protection of
Florida's coasts from further damage by erosion is im-
perative. And such protection should be based on
technically sound and recognized engineering prin-
ciples, experience and practice.
Much information exists and can be secured from
the U. S. Beach Erosion Board and from the University
of Florida. But the facts necessary for proper design
and operation of protective structures are not gen-
erally known. This Commission feels that present
effort should be continued and intensified to search
out such facts and make them available to interested
individuals and communities.
Although there is legislative background for the
construction of protective devices, additional study
is needed to develop this specialized field and to enact
additional legislation as a basis for solving beach and
shore erosion problems.

It is strongly urged that the Legislature instruct a
state agency to conduct a survey of beach and shore
erosion problems from physical, legal, and adminis-
trative viewpoints and to recommend suitable remedial


Topographic maps have broad fields of application
and are of considerable value to anyone making use
of land. Such maps are needed in connection with
problems of water control and management, delinea-
tion of ground-water recharge areas and similar prob-
lems. They serve as a basis for important studies of
water resources. In addition they are valuable to
those who plan for agricultural, industrial, municipal
and recreational use of water. The U. S. Geological
Survey mapping program, which was started in Florida
over 60 years ago, is the basic mapping program of the
state, although other agencies such as the state road
department often conduct less comprehensive mapping
Topographic maps are essential for national de-
fense. In this respect, Florida is fortunate since the
military establishments in the state have necessitated
that much mapping be done by the Survey. There is
a total of about 54,000 square miles in the state of
Florida, of which about 59 per cent, or 32,000 square
miles is covered by maps of the U. S. Geological Sur-
vey. The extent of this coverage is indicated in Figure
46. Some of the maps in this area, however, were sur-
veyed as early as 1890 and a significant portion of the
work is badly out of date. Remapping is required in
order to provide maps for present-day needs.
At present mapping is in progress on an additional
14,000 square miles, or 26 per cent of the state area.
The status of mapping in this area ranges from com-
pletion of the aerial photography to the publication
of the completed maps. The coverage is indicated in
Figure 46. According to information received from
the Survey, only a modest amount of work is scheduled
to be started during the next two years and will cover
about 1,700 square miles, leaving about 7,000 square
miles upon which no work has been done. The Sur-
vey's long-range mapping program contemplates cov-
erage of the state in about 20 years, but there are
areas within the state upon which topographical in-
formation is needed now to complete water resources
studies currently underway.
There is a great need for maps covering about
5,000 square miles in order to provide information on
drainage areas to aid in the analysis of stream flow
,records. Wherever the need for topographical maps

73 *


JULY 1956


is pressing and cannot be fulfilled under the existing
or planned federal program, cooperative mapping
projects may be initiated to expedite the work. The
arrangement requires sharing the cost of the work on
a 50-50 basis with the federal government. At present,
Florida is the only state that has not entered into a
cooperative agreement with the U. S. Geological Sur-
vey in its topographical mapping program.
There are, however, some areas in the state in which
a cost-sharing program of this nature is desirable to
furnish information for needed water resources studies,
including the determination of the major hydrologic
areas of the state. It is felt that every effort should
be made to complete such mapping as soon as prac-
ticable. Also, the remapping of areas where existing
maps are out of date should be facilitated at an early



Present Water Resources Programs

There are several existing programs related to water
resources in Florida. Each is administered by a public
agency which, for the sake of simplicity, may be classi-
fied as local, state, or federal. In operation, however,
some programs are supported by more than one level
of government, and some are based on cooperative
arrangements between different agencies. The result
is a somewhat more complex picture than is indicated
by the classification adopted. The more important
interrelationships are described in this chapter, to-
gether with a brief statement of each agency's activities.


Many types of districts have been organized in Flor-
ida. These are drainage, inlet, improvement, mosquito-
control, navigation, water-supply, sanitary, conserva-
tion, service, irrigation and soil-conservation, canal
and lock, and port districts. Although every district is
concerned with some phase of water resources, the
diversity of authority and purpose makes generaliza-
tion impossible. A few are multipurpose districts, but
most are limited to a single objective such as drainage.
One thing in common is the power to levy and collect
taxes within the district boundaries.
Substantial areas of the state have, at one time or
another, been incorporated into one or more of these
special districts. Records show that approximately
28,460 square miles of Florida have been or are now
incorporated in one or more such districts. This large
total area and the repeated inclusion of many areas in
more than one such district throughout the years point
directly to the desirability and the necessity of special
purpose districts as a positive means of controlling and
conserving water in Florida.
Early drainage districts performed their primary
functions of draining and reclaiming land until the
combined effect created overdrained conditions. These
situations demanded recognition of the vital need for
retaining and conserving a maximum amount of the
available water resources. Virtually all recently or-
ganized drainage districts recognized at the beginning
the importance of conserving local water resources.
It is a significant fact that conservation of surface

water through ponding and maintenance of high water
levels favorably affects the recharge of ground waters.
Were the entire state of Florida subdivided into sev-
eral major hydrologic areas, each having jurisdiction
and control of water levels within a particular drainage
basin, the combined effect would virtually insure the
greatest measure of conservation and most judicious
use of water resources.

Dade County Water Conservation District
One type of local water management program is
that exemplified by the Dade County Water Conser-
vation District. The district was authorized by Florida
law in 1945. This law authorizes the county commis-
sion to create such districts, and the entire 2,200 square
miles of Dade County were included in one district
by the commissioners in 1945.
Under the district law the county commission is
empowered to provide for conservation and use of
water resources; control water levels in the canals,
streams and lakes; build and operate facilities as re-
quired; buy and condemn land, and levy county-wide
ad valorem taxes.
The water control division of the county engineer's
office carries out the water control program which in-
cludes channel work, dam construction and operation,
and similar activities.
Flood control work includes (a) levee construction,
maintenance, and patrol; (b) canal cleaning and en-
largement; and (c) supplying information to the
county zoning department and the public for the pur-
pose of preventing construction of homes in areas
subject to frequent and periodic flooding.
A major portion of the main system of canals, levees,
and dams in the county has been improved, enlarged,
and cleaned many times during 10 years of operation.
In connection with this work, the county sprays hya-
cinths and has been able to keep the more important
part of the canal system virtually free of hyacinths
during recent years.
The water control division has prepared a flood
criteria map which is followed by the county zoning
department in establishing minimum land elevations
which must be met before building permits can be
obtained in areas which have been subject to flooding.
Protection of municipal water supplies and private

wells from salt-water encroachment and prevention
of overdrainage of a considerable portion of the lands,
in the country is provided for by 15 dams which the
county operates. There re e five permanent-type struc-
tures in the farming area east of Homestead which
provide for gradual improvement of salt conditions in
the soil and permit use of lands which would other-
wise salt out, as well as gradually permitting develop-
ment of new lands closer to Biscayne Bay. In the
Miami metropolitan area, 12 temporary-type struc-
tures are installed, usually annually, to prevent salt-
water encroachment up major canals. These dams
have been effective in moving salt fronts downstream
in some areas. In other cases these dams have pre-
vented overdrainage of higher pasture lands and loss
of water from that part of the network of canals in
which they are located.
The foregoing describes current operations which
are gradually being adjusted to development of the
Central and Southern Florida Flood Control District
works. So far, it has been necessary for the county to
concentrate on maintenance and improvement of the
larger canals which will gradually be improved in a
major way by the federal government. Secondary wa-
ter-control facilities will be required if proper usage
of the major improved works being provided by the
federal plan is to be obtained. It appears that the
county's function in this future development will lie
between the minor private developments and the
major works provided by the federal plan.

Oklawaha Basin Recreation and Water
Conservation and Control Authority
There are other instances in which the need for
water management has been so acute that action has
been initiated and carried to completion at the local
level. One such program is noted as an example.
The Oklawaha Basin Recreation and Water Con-
servation and Control Authority of Lake County is
a political subdivision authorized by a special act of
the legislature in 1953. It is financed with a one-mill
yearly assessment on the county real-estate rolls.
The objective of the Authority is to conserve the
waters in the county's two distinct watersheds: first,
the chain of lakes which includes Lakes Beauclair,
Carlton, Dora, Eustis, Big and Little Lake Harris and
Lake Griffin; and second, the Palatlakaha River Basin,
the headwaters of which are in Green Swamp. This
swamp drains into Lakes Louisa, Minneola, Minneha-
ha, Cherry, Emma, and Stewart and the Palatlakaha
River, which in turn flows into Lake Harris. The plan
is to control the levels of these lakes and streams at
the highest point possible but below water levels that

will damage improved lakefront properties. The mini-
mum and maximum lake levels were established after
extensive engineering studies-which developed a plan
to conserve water available during wet periods for
use during dry ones.

Central and Southern
Florida Flood Control District
The Central and Southern Florida Flood Control
District is an agency of the state of Florida established
by the 19,19 legislature and represents state and local
interests in a joint federal-state-local attack on prob-
lems of flooding, drought relief, and salt-water in-
trusion into fresh water supplies in an area of great
economic importance to the state and the nation.
The 15,570 square-mile area involved is 250 miles
long, averages 75 miles wide and covers one-fourth of
the state. It includes major present and potential
urban and agricultural developments.
Estimates of the benefits of water control resulting
from the project to costs of protection have risen from
two to one to six to one in the last few years, and the
ratio continues to increase. These figures relate only
to benefits resulting from the federal-state project, ex-
clusive of those brought into being by local works.
The district guides and coordinates the efforts of
federal, state, and local governments on activities re-
lated to the project, and works with local groups and
individuals to insure that the program will be re-
sponsive to the needs and desires of those it is intended
to serve.
As its share in advancing the project, the district:
.(1) Accepts as its major responsibility, co-operative
participation in studies, design and construc-
tion of the federal-state cooperative project.
(2) Assumes the responsibility for the development
of a comprehensive plan of major facilities and
for getting approval of the plan for cooperative
construction by the federal government.
(3) Presents and obtains the adoption of such al-
ternate features of the comprehensive plan as it
finds necessary for carrying out the objectives
and responsibilities of the district.
(4) Participates in the design, financing and con-
struction of primary works not included in the
federal construction program.
(5) Recognizes that control of the use of water must
be attained through the regulation of water
stages by the works of the district, and that the
construction of such works may require the
acquisition of property rights obtained prefer-
ably through negotiation but otherwise through
orderly legal processes.

(6) Relocates structures and facilities which must
be moved to make room for the system of control
(7) Assumes the responsibility for cooperating with
duly constituted agencies in the development
of plans of detailed facilities not included in the
district t's comprehensive plan.
(8) Advises on the design of and, as a trustee in the
public interest, acquires and holds rights-of-
way for secondary canals and works.
(9) Takes emergency action against flooding.
(10) Maintains and operates the completed federal-
state project works except those involving navi-
The district is composed of 7 major divisions-ad-
ministration, engineering, finance, land, legal, main-
tenance and operation, and planning and research.
All of these are under the supervision of the executive
director who is responsible to a 5-man governing board
appointed by the governor of the state.
The major categories of benefits to be produced, as
a result of the completion of the federal-state project
and the complementary works being carried out by
local interests are as follows: (1) flood control; (2)
water conservation; (3) land enhancement; (4) pre-
vention of salt-water intrusion; (5) preservation of fish
and wildlife; (6) recreation; (7) pollution abatement
and public health; and (8) navigation.


State Board of Conservation

The operations of the State Board of Conservation
include the administration of Florida's salt-water re-
sources and of the Florida Geological Survey. Among
other duties the board's director is charged with the
enforcement of all marine conservation laws and with
the supervision of all research projects concerning salt-
water resources. The agency also supervises the licen-
sing of all craft used in the taking of salt-water prod-
ucts and of firms dealing in those items. All matters
relating to sports or commercial fishing come under
the agency's jurisdiction as well as the enforcement
of some laws relating to the pollution of salt waters.
Florida Geological Survey
The Florida Geological Survey is a department of
the board and is responsible for surveying and ex-
ploring for "minerals, water supply and other natural
resources of the state," and to prepare maps and re-
ports covering these. Specifically, the survey is directed
to include in its studies the "occurrence and location

of minerals and other deposits of value, surface and
subterranean water supply and power, and mineral
waters, and the best and most economical methods of
development, together with analysis of soils, minerals
and mineral waters, with maps, charts, and drawings
of the same."
The 1953 legislature sought to control flowing ar-
tesian wells by requiring valves to be installed and
kept closed when wells are not in use. The survey was
made the regulating agency, and an inventory of
flowing wells is being taken for use in a report to the
1957 legislature on the seriousness of this waste of
The functions of the Florida Geological Survey
might be summarized briefly as follows:
(1) Study the geology and map the structure and
stratigraphy of various formations of the state. Issue
reports covering these studies.
(2) Study and publish papers on the individual
mineral resources of Florida, including oil, gas and
water. Since 1929, the survey has cooperated with
the U. S. Geological Survey in water-resource studies
in which detailed studies of surface, ground and
quality of waters, together with geologic factors, are
made and published. It is also preparing an inven-
tory of flowing wells in the state.
(3) Consult and advise private, state and federal
agencies on problems of geology and hydrology. In
particular, an active cooperation exists with the state
board of health on public supply and drainage wells
and drainage fields.
(4) Encourage and assist in the preparation of topo-
graphic, planimetric and soil maps of Florida.

Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission
The state board of conservation and this agency
have much in common relative to the management
of fresh and salt water fishes in coastal and tidal waters
as well as in artificial canals and waterways. The func-
tions of these respective agencies are somewhat over-
lapping due to the intermingling of fresh and salt
water fishes.
The commission has an extensive program with the
Central and Southern Florida Flood Control District
on studies and recommendations of all water control
plans and specifications for the entire region. It is
the commission's duty to evaluate the plans and pro-
grams of all agencies for the control and use of water
insofar as they affect fresh water fish. These studies
include the effects of impoundment, drainage projects,
diking, water level control, drainage canals, and irri-
gation on fresh water fishes.
One office is established at Vero Beach for coopera-

tion on river basin studies with the U. S. Fish and'
Wildlife Service for analyzing and determining effects a
of water control activities by the Department of the
Interior, the Soil Conservation Service, the Corps of
Engineers, and local districts. Plans of such agencies
for any alteration of water uses, water levels or im-
poundments are studied by commission personnel and
project reports made in conjunction with the districts
and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The commission is also concerned with the effects
of polluted fresh water on fresh-water fishes, either by
municipal or industrial wastes, or natural phenomena.
Its authority in all of these matters extends only to the
welfare of fresh-water fishes.

State Board of Health
There are two bureaus in the state board of health
which deal with water resources-sanitary engineering
and entomology. It is the duty of the board to adopt,
promulgate, repeal and amend rules and regulations
consistent with law regulating drinking water made
accessible to the public; watersheds used for public
water supplies; disposal of excreta, sewage or other
wastes; pollution of lakes, streams or other waters;
drainage and filling in connection with the control of
arthropods of public health importance; and swim-
ming pools and bathing places. The board also super-
vises the control of pollution in surface and ground
Except for the control of arthropods of public health
importance, the bureau of sanitary engineering is
responsible for the program outlined above. There are
three sections in the bureau.
(1) The water supply and treatment section is con-
cerned with the public water supply and treatment of
all public water supplies and advises on private sup-
plies, swimming pools, and bottled water plants. The
section reviews and recommends operating procedures,
conducts bacteriological and chemical analyses and
complies with the statutory requirements for the re-
view of plans and specifications of all public water
projects submitted to the bureau.
(2) The sewage and industrial wastes section han-
dles all plans for domestic sewage collection and treat-
ment, industrial wastes and treatment, stream pollu-
tion surveys, garbage and refuse disposal. This sec-
tion recommends operational procedures, gives advice
on the degree of treatment necessary, makes pollution
surveys and reviews plans and specifications of all
sewerage projects.
(3) The environmental sanitation section carries on
a program of many other activities such as supervision
of shellfish, food handling, trailer and motel courts,

and subdivisions. Many of these activities include the
review of plans and specifications dealing with water
supply and treatment, sewerage and sewage treatment
which require close liaison between this section and
the other two.
Six counties have full time engineering staffs which
operate under the bureau's general technical supervi-
sion, while the remaining 60 county health depart-
ments rely more directly on tie bureau for technical
assistance in sanitary engineering matters.
The bureau of entomology's principal function is
the control of arthropods affecting the health and
comfort of the citizens of Florida. There are a number
of arthropods, such as mosquitoes, sandflies, yellow
flies, blind mosquitoes, dog flies and a few other minor
species, which breed in or near water. Water environ-
ments are manipulated by filling, impounding and
elimination by drainage, to eliminate or control many
of these species through source reduction.
More than 99 per cent of the work in mosquito con-
trol is done with salt-marsh varieties. Most of the
work consists of constructing minnow-access canals in
the mangrove and fringe areas along the coasts. In
some places the bureau does considerable filling of
the marshes, and in other sections, impounding of
marshes to promote flooding. There is virtually no
drainage of fresh-water ponds and swamps for the con-
trol of mosquitoes.

State Soil Conservation Board
The State Soil Conservation Board is the state
agency established to administer the State Soil Con-
servation Act. Although it is not directly concerned
with water resources work, it is an instrument through
which agriculturists utilize the programs of other
agencies to instigate water management programs in
local soil conservation districts. Its major duties and
powers are as follows: (1) to offer appropriate assist-
ance to the supervisors of soil conservation districts in
carrying out their programs; (2) to keep district super-
visors informed of each other's activities and ex-
perience, and to facilitate an interchange of advice
and foster cooperation between districts; (3) to co-
ordinate the programs of the various soil conservation
districts so far as this may be done by advice and con-
sultation; (4) to obtain the cooperation and assistance
of federal, state and local agencies and counties in the
work of the districts; (5) to disseminate information on
the activities and programs of soil conservation dis-
tricts and to encourage formation of districts in areas
where their organization is desirable; and (6) to review
and evaluate applications submitted under P. L. 566
and to approve or disapprove such applications for

the state.
The board also assists soil conservation districts in
obtaining state funds appropriated for their use.

University of Florida
There are several experimental, analytical and edu-
cational programs under way at the University of
Florida which, taken collectively, contribute signifi-
cantly to the state's water resources programs. Among
these are the programs of the agricultural group
through its agricultural experiment stations and agri-
cultural extension service; the department of chemis-
try; and the college of engineering through the en-
gineering and industrial experiment station.
The agricultural experiment stations of the uni-
versity are intensely interested in Florida's water re-
sources and utilization. Agricultural production is
dependent upon water and agriculture is the largest
single user of water in the state. The agricultural ex-
periment stations have maintained continuous daily
records of local meteorological conditions since 1914.
This includes some of the earliest work on evapo-
transpiration for the entire humid eastern United
States. Other activities include water-control investi-
gation of surface and subsurface hydrology and of
design and maintenance of water-control facilities.
Studies are made of the effect of height of water table
on subsidence of organic soils; water relations of citrus
operations in the coastal citrus area; irrigation, water
control, chloride tolerance, and intrusion on marl
soils; relationships between several soil-water constants
and the moisture content of soils under supplemental
irrigation; irrigation and drainage in relation to pro-
duction of citrus, vegetables, pastures, tobacco and
other field crops; method of treatment of citrus waste
water, and land use. Higher production and better
quality of crops through use of supplemental irriga-
tion and new areas being brought into production will
demand a larger proportion of Florida's water re-
sources for agriculture in the future.
The agricultural extension service has one or more
county agricultural agents in 66 of Florida's 67 coun-
ties. Also, a staff of 31 specialists at the university
keeps in close touch with research work carried on by
the Florida agricultural experiment stations and the
United States Department of Agriculture. The special-
ists inform the county agents of new information ap-
plicable to the agriculture in their counties. The ex-
tension workers promote the adoption and use of soil
and water conservation practices among farmers and
assist them with plans for the installation of irrigation
systems. Specialists also assist county agents and
farmers with terracing problems where required and
with erosion prevention measures. Other activities

include the promotion of improved forestry practices
and timber-grazing-game programs; the use and con-
servation of water resources and the establishment of
pastures and cover crops; educational programs to in-
form growers on state and federal programs involving
soil and water conservation. In most areas county
agents serve as secretaries to their county agricultural
stabilization and conservation districts. The service
director serves as ex officio member of the state agri-
cultural stabilization and conservation committee and
as administrator of the state soil conservation board.
The department of chemistry conducts research on
water chemistry through its division of water research
and teaches courses dealing with this area of chemistry.
It has been instrumental in collecting information on
and publication of several useful articles on the quality
of Florida's waters and the salt-water intrusion prob-
A number of engineering studies pertaining to the
state's water resources are contained in the program
of the engineering and industrial experiment station.
The station's sanitary research laboratory conducts
continuous investigations on the stabilization of mu-
nicipal and industrial wastes, with particular reference
to the influence of the state's climatic and geologic
conditions. It also conducts experimental and analyti-
cal work on the quality of Florida's waters and on the
state's rainfall and runoff patterns. The station's
weather radar laboratory has pioneered in the use of
radar to observe weather phenomena, and its meteoro-
logical investigations serve as a basis for further re-
search in the station's air pollution research. The
coastal engineering laboratory conducts research and
investigation on beach erosion problems in the state.
In addition to publications resulting from these studies
the station personnel and facilities are made available
to other agencies and to industries in the state to aid
in the solution of problems relating to Florida's water
Florida State University
The Florida State University is engaged in educa-
tional and basic research programs related to various
aspects of the water resources problems. These ac-
tivities are concentrated in the departments of ge-
ography, geology, and meteorology, and the oceano-
graphic institute. The latter two groups are par-
ticularly active in research.
The department of meteorology, with support from
the federal government, is now conducting an exhaus-
tive study of summer rainfall patterns over the Florida
peninsula. An attempt is being made to understand
more clearly the time and space distributions of pre-
Scipitation during this season of heavy rainfall. The


: '*''

department has also conducted an evaluation of the
effects of commercial cloud seeding in north Florida
in 1955-56, the results of which have been published.
The present work of the oceanographic institute is
largely devoted to a program on the St. Marks-Wakulla
river system. Essentially this is an attempt to study a
complete river system from its headwaters in the spring
region around Natural Bridge to the gulf. To date,
there have been systematic studies of salinity distribu-
tion, turbidity distribution, and distribution of rooted
aquatic plants as influenced by salinity variations.
The department of geography is assisting in the
study being conducted by the State Iand Use and Con-
trol Commission, recently activated by executive order.

University of Miami
The marine laboratory of the University of Miami
investigates and reports on several phases of Florida's
salt water resources. Some active projects are studies
of the effects of domestic pollution of ocean waters;
life history and economic influence of salt-water fish in
the state's peripheral waters; productivity of fish foods;
general picture of shrimp and oysters; and red-tide
work. The laboratory is also engaged in raintall-radar
measurements, and is under contract with the federal
government to investigate this tool as a means of ob-
serving weather phenomena. Some of the above studies
are financed by the state board of conservation.

State Land Use and Control Commission
This commission, recently organized under the trus-
tees of the internal improvement fund, will likely play
an important part in the future development of Flor-
ida's water resources. It was established for the fol-
lowing purposes: to make an inventory of all state-
owned lands, including submerged lands; to recom-
mend a plan and policy under which the sale or with-
holding from sale of such lands can be most consistent
with the public interest; to make recommendations on
creating state parks and other public facilities from
state-owned lands; to make recommendation on dredg-
ing and filling of submerged lands; and to recommend
needed law reform to accomplish their objectives. This
work promises to be of particular importance to the
future recreational use of the state's water resources.


U. S. Geological Survey
The U. S. Geological Survey, through its division
of water resources, collects and publishes information
of great importance to Florida, as well as the entire
nation. It functions through three branches-surface

water, ground water and quality of water. Although
the boundaries of branch divisions do not necessarily
follow state lines, each has a district headquarters in
Florida. All three branches conduct their functions in
close cooperation with each other.
The surface water branch is primarily concerned
with obtaining data on the occurrence and movement
of the surface waters of the nation in order that the
maximum beneficial use and the effective control of
this important resource may be made. It is the federal
agency responsible for the collection, preservation and
publication of surface-water records.
Although the majority of the work of the branch
consists of the operation of stream-llow and water-level
gaging stations, through the computation of records
from that work, and publication of the results in
annual water-supply papers, much work is done in
the branch for the furtherance of hydrologic knowl-
edge. Interrelationships among various climatic and
hydrologic phenomena, including rainfall, evapora-
tion, infiltration, and runoff, are investigated and re-
ported upon. Correlative studies are made as a means
of extending the usefulness of past records and to ob-
tain optimum benefit from future gaging stations.
Of the funds necessary to carry on the work of the
surface water branch in Florida, 37% per cent is sup-
plied by agencies and political subdivisions of the
state. This money is matched dollar-for-dollar by fed-
erally appropriated money. Together these go to make
up the so-called "cooperative funds" and cover 75 per
cent of the expenditures in Florida. Most of the re-
maining money comes from transfers from other fed-
eral agencies, principally the Corps of Engineers.
The ground water branch, operating principally
under financial agreements with state and municipal
agencies, or at the request of other federal agencies,
is primarily concerned with the location and appraisal
of the ground-water resources of the nation. The
ultimate objective of ground-water investigations in
Florida is to make a complete survey of the state, in
which ground-water conditions will be determined in
every rock formation and in every locality. Investiga-
tions are designed to make information:relating to the
quantity, quality, movement, availability for utiliza-
tion, and the hydraulic and hydrologic characteristics
of ground-water resources available to the public. Most
of these data are documented for permanent record in
reports published by the U. S. Geological Survey or the
Florida Geological Survey.
A ground-water investigation of an area may include
the following:
(1) Collection of systematic information on existing
wells. This includes information on depth, depth of

casing, water level, water temperature, quality of water,
yield and use.
(2) Geologic studies to determine areal extent,
thickness, the lithologic characteristics of water-bear-
ing formations. These studies include examination of
available well cuttings and electric logging of selected
wells as aids in correlating and defining formational
Ioundat ies.
(3) Establishing a network of observation wells in
which the water levels are measured periodically or
continuously by water-level recording instruments.
In areas where salt water contamination is known to
exist or is suspected, a companion salinity observa-
tional program is maintained.
(4) Quantitative studies to determine the ability
of water-bearing formations to store and transmit wa-
(5) Test drilling in areas for which adequate infor-
mation on the hydrologic and hydraulic characteris-
tics of subsurface material cannot be obtained from
existing wells.
(6) Determination of areas and rates at which water
is recharged to or discharged from water-bearing for-
(7) Preparation of reports which present results of
the investigations.
The quality of water branch has the primary re-
sponsibility for determination and appraisal of the
chemical and physical quality of water resources and
the relation of water quality and suspended sediment
load to various parts of the hydrologic cycle. The
branch deals with substances in solution and deposi-
tion, and with those interrelationships which alter or
influence characteristics and use of water.
This branch investigates chemical, physical, geo-
chemical, biochemical, radiochemical, and cultural
factors which affect water quality and suspended sedi-
ment load; it studies and develops methodology and
instrumentation to improve techniques of measure-
ment and interpretation. Fundamental chemical and
physical forces, such as water and earth temperature,
ion-exchange and oxidation-reduction potentials in
various stages of the hydrologic cycle are investigated
in their relation to water quality. The work also de-
scribes and explains the chemical and physical quality
of water in relation to hydrology, geology, and other
environmental factors of drainage basins and project
areas. A network of sampling stations is maintained
on streams and sources of ground water to measure
sediment discharge and water temperature, and to
determine chemical quality of ground and surface
Studies include real investigations into tle chemi-

cal and physical aspects of surface and ground waters
and of salt water encroachment on fresh water sup-
plies, industrial and other pollution abatement, radio-
activity and radioelements in natural waters, sediment
increments in reservoirs, movement of suspended ma-
terial, and trends of the changes in these properties.
The branch is concerned with chemical and physical
erosion, sedimentation, and stream mechanics to the
extent that these affect the quality and utilization of

Corps of Engineers, U. S. Army
The activities of the corps with respect to Florida's
water resources are concerned primarily with the de-
velopment of rivers, harbors, and other waterways for
navigation; flood control protection, other water uses,
and related purposes, as exemplified by the Cential
and Southern Florida Flood Control District; and
shore protection.
The corps' activities also include investigations for
reports to the congress on an area's possible improve-
ment; planning, construction, operation and main-
tenance of projects authorized by the congress; ad-
ministration of laws concerning protection and preser-
vation of navigable waters of the United States; col-
lection and dissemination of information on water-
borne commerce; maintenance of information on flood
conditions; flood fighting and rescue work; and sur-
veying and charting the inland waterways.

U. S. Agricultural Research Service
The soil and water conservation research branch
conducts the research program of the Agricultural
Research Service, United States Department of Agri-
culture, in the field of soil, water, fertilizers, and hy-
drology of agricultural watersheds.
The branch conducts its research in cooperation
with state agricultural experiment stations whose par-
ticipation may be represented by financial contribu-
tions or by providing necessary facilities. Certain other
local, state, or federal agencies also cooperate with the
branch. The Central and Southern Florida Flood Con-
trol District helps provide for drainage and flood con-
trol studies.
In Florida, two sections of the soil and water con-
servation research branch are represented-the eastern
soil and water management section and the watershed
hydrology section, with personnel stationed at Ft.
Lauderdale, Belle Glade, and Ft. Pierce.
The eastern soil and water management section con-
ducts field, greenhouse, and laboratory investigations
of soil and water management, covering such prob-
lenis as. principles governing soil productivity, plant

growth, crop quality, drainage, irrigation, and water
use and conservation as a basis for evolving agricul;
tural systems capable of maintaining or raising the
level of soil productivity.
The effect of climate and weather variations upon
water table and irrigation requirements is also studied,
including use of climatic data to predict irrigation
needs. The quantities of water necessary to meet re-
quirements of major crops at various stages of growth
are determined. Evapotranspiration, nutrient accu-
mulation and leaching, requirements of plants for
moisture supply, and the influence of moisture deficits
and excesses on the growing plants are investigated.
Drainage requirements and practices for the pro-
duction of important crops are determined. Mole and
surface drainage systems of various designs are investi-
gated with respect to their efficiency in timely re-
moval of excess water and their effectiveness in main-
taining the soil as a satisfactory medium for optimum
plant growth. Studies are made of improved en-
gineering designs and techniques for maintaining con-
trolled water-table levels under both organic and
mineral soils. Major attention is given to the pre-
vention of soil losses from fires and oxidation in the
organic soils of the Everglades and similar areas. The
most effective methods of drainage-channel mainte-
nance including both mechanical and herbicidal means
of aquatic weed control, are investigated.
The watershed hydrology section conducts studies
in the management of agricultural watersheds for
soil and water conservation and the prevention of flood
damages. The purpose of these studies is to determine
reliable information relative to the effects of various
land uses, farming practices, conservation measures,
and water control structures on the amount, rate, and
distribution of surface runoff with respect to flood
flow, soil movement, and storage of ground water avail-
able for crops. This information provides a basis for
computing the hydraulic requirements of channels,
storage basins, ponds, and other structures used in soil
and water conservation and flood prevention work.
Field studies are in progress on the 50,000-acre In-
dian River Farms Drainage District near Vero Beach,
on 11,000-acre and 69,000-acre watersheds in the Tay-
lor Creek basin near Okeechobee City, and a small
90-acre tract near Ft. Lauderdale. Plans are pro-
gressing for the instrumentation of a 5,000-acre diked
tract tributary to St. Lucie Canal in Martin County.

U. S. Soil Conservation Service
Under authority of P. L. 46, the Soil Conservation
Act of 1935, declaring the federal policy with respect
to soil and water conservation as amended and supple-
mented, the Soil Conservation Service was created and

is authorized to provide assistance to soil conservation
districts and other state and local instrumentalities
acceptable to the Secretary of Agriculture on prob-
lems related to the conservation of soil and water re-
In general these responsibilities are carried out
through locally organized soil conservation districts,
which are legal subdivisions of the state.
In 1956, there were 59 soil conservation districts in
Florida. The service cooperates with these districts
by providing technical assistance in soil and water
conservation and in other ways.
Much of the work of a district consists of on-site as-
sistance to farmers and ranchers in developing and
carrying out individual soil and water conservation
farm plans. Service technicians provide technical as-
sistance to district cooperators in developing such
plans for their lands. This assistance includes develop-
ing technical specifications and standards suitable for
the design, construction, or installation of water-
management facilities needed for the conservation
and proper use of soil and water resources.
Since the first soil conservation district was formed
in Florida in 1938, some 19,500 district cooperators
have been assisted in preparing soil and water con-
servation plans for their farms and ranches. These
plans cover approximately 9,220,000 acres. Land-
owners have converted over 80,000 acres of erodable,
idle or crop land to grass, perennial legumes or trees,
and in so doing have changed the conditions of hydro-
logic cover from poor to excellent. Approximately
2,500 ponds and reservoirs for water storage have been
constructed. Facilities for removing surplus surface
water from approximately 1,365,000 acres have been
installed along with the necessary water control struc-
tures to prevent overdrainage. Included are 1,138
pumping plants, 1,270 check-dams, 1,700 drop spill-
ways, and 2,200 drop inlets. Proper irrigation-water
management methods have been installed on over
325,000 acres. Some 14,000 miles of terraces for water
conservation and erosion control have been construc-
ted on the farms of cooperating farmers.
In addition to providing technical assistance to the
districts, technicians of the service, up;n request of
applicants for soil and water conservation loans, give
technical assistance in planning and installing the im-
provement for which money is being borrowed. This
program of soil and water conservation loans is ad-
ministered by the Farmers Home Administration.
Likewise, the service has responsibility of determining
whether certain practices of landowners meet pre-
scribed technical requirements for soil conservation
payments made to farmers through the soil conserva-

tion program administered under the Agricultural
Conservation Program.
Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program
The 83rd Congress developed a national policy on
watershed planning through the passage of P. L. 566,
a program authorizing the Secretary of Agriculture to
cooperate with state and local agencies in planning
and carrying out works of improvement for soil con-
servation and for other purposes. The law, as amended,
provides for a sound program of soil conservation and
water conservation on all the fields and forests in a
watershed. It provides for the construction and main-
tenance of sudi other measures as seem necessary and
feasible to contml and make sound use of water falling
on a watershed.: It makes it possible for farmers to
work as a team with other farmers and landowners,
their urban neighbors, and with state and federal
agencies to solve water-resource problems which they
cannot handle alone.
A fundamental principle of the program is local-
state-federal cooperation and nonfederal participation.
The act itself lonns a basis for coordinating such local
upstream watershed improvements with water-resource
development and management projects on the main
stems of the nation's streams.
The program places major responsibility on local
organizations for the initiation of watershed projects
by making those organizations responsible for carrying
out, operating and maintaining works of improvement.
In Florida, soil conservation districts may assume the
responsibility for carrying out, operating and main-
taining works of improvement in watershed protection
programs. The governor of Florida has appointed the
state soil conservation board as his representative for
reviewing proposed projects.
The program of small-watershed protection and
flood prevention is just getting under way in Florida.
To date, some seven applications have been received
by the state soil conservation board and the soil con-
servation service, covering some 646,022 acres in small
watersheds. One of these watersheds has been ap-
proved for construction. Work plans are being de-
veloped on six others for such approval and it is antici-
pated they will be approved for construction in the
near future.

U. S. Agricultural Conservation Program
Congress appropriates a sum of money each year
for the Agricultural Conservation Program to assist
farmers throughout the nation to carry out soil and
water conservation practices on their farms.
This conservation program is administered by the
United States Department of Agriculture through state

and county agricultural stabilization and conserva-
tion committees. In operation, farmers request assist-
ance for carrying out practices and county committees
approve requests insofar as funds are available. Rates
of cost-sharing for practices are generally 50 per cent
of the cost. Practices include establishing and improv-
ing permanent pasture, seeding cover crops, applying
fertilizer and liming materials to cover crops, planting
forest trees, constructing terraces to prevent runoff,
constructing dams, pits or ponds to obtain water for
irrigation purposes and use of livestock, and construct-
ing open drainage ditches. The soil conservation ser-
vice and the forest service are responsible for certain
technical phases of the program.
Since the establishment of the program in 1936, a
tremendous amount of soil and water conservation
work has been accomplished which would not other-
wise have been carried out since farmers in many cases
were financially unable to carry out the practices with-
out assistance. During the last three years, marked in-
crease has been shown in drainage practices and prac-
tices designed to increase the availability of water for
livestock use and irrigation.

U. S. Farmers Home Administration
Soil and water conservation loans are made by the
Farmers Home Administration to encourage and help
farmers in the improvement, protection, and proper
use of farm land by providing adequate financing for
soil conservation; Water development, conservation
and use and drainage. The loans help farmers and
ranchers make good use of land diverted from the pro-
duction of surplus crops, protect their land resources
against adverse weather conditions, and improve their
economic circumstances.
Loan funds may be used to pay cash costs of making
improvements directly related to soil conservation; wa-
ter development, conservation, and use; forestation,
drainage of farm land, and related measures. This in-
cludes such improvements as construction and repair
of terraces, dikes, ponds and tanks, ditches and canals
for irrigation and drainage, waterways, and erosion
control structures. Also sodding, subsoiling, pasture
improvement, brush removal, land leveling, basic ap-
plication of lime and fertilizer, fencing, tree planting,
well drilling, and the purchase of pumps, sprinkler
systems, and other irrigation equipment are included.
Loans are made to carry out only the types of soil
and water conservation practices that are in accord
with recommendations made by the extension service
and soil conservation service.

U. S. Weather Bureau
The U. S. Weather Bureau is responsible for the


following programs: (1) river and flood forecasting
service; (2) the radar-rainfall project; (3) the hurri-
cane research project; (1I) rainfall characteristics in-
vestigation; (5) evaporation measurements; and (.)
precipitation measurements.
The bureau's river and flood forecasting service now
extends into northwestern Florida, with the weather
bureau office at Pensacola responsible for service on
the Escambia and Choctawhatchee rivers and tribu-
taries, and the weather bureau airport station at At-
lanta, Georgia, is responsible for service on the Apa-
lachicola, Ochlockonee and Suwannee rivers and tribu-
taries. In the fall of 1955 a river forecast center was
established at Augusta, Georgia, whose responsibility
is to develop river forecast procedures for the south
Atlantic and east gulf states, including Florida, as
preliminary to an intensified and expanded river fore-
casting service in the area.
Rainfall reports are often insufficient in number to
provide an accurate estimate of areal rainfall for river
forecasting, and for timely warning to flash-flood areas
where rainfall reports are needed even as the rain falls.
Radar provides a means for simultaneous observation
of instantaneous rainfall over an area; the problem is
to integrate these observations through time so as to
provide areal definition of the rainfall which has
fallen for the last hour or several hours. The bureau
has contracted with the University of Miami to de-
velop a practical means for this integration by con-
tinuous photography of the radar scope.
The research operations base for the hurricane proj-
ect is located in West Palm Beach. The latest publi-
cation of this project is an exhaustive compilation of
depth-area-duration data and isohyetal maps of special
interest to Florida. The department of meteorology at
Florida State University is playing an important role
in this program as a contractor with the bureau.
Largely on transferred funds from the Corps of En-
gineers and the Department of Agriculture, the bu-
reau has continued investigations of rainfall for design
purposes. An important current project is an investi-
gation of characteristics of storm rainfall for use in pro-
tection of watersheds up to 400 square miles. Area-in-
tensity-duration-frequency analysis is one of the in-
vestigation's objectives.
Work is continuing on the applicability of pan
evaporation measurements to natural evaporation.
The latest publication on this subject further develops
the use of normal meteorological measurements for
the computation of pan and lake evaporation.
In addition to the regular climatological network in
Florida, the bureau operates and publishes data from
a network of recording rain gages in cooperation with
other agencies. These data appear monthly in the bu-

reau's publications "Climatological Data and Hourly
Precipitation )ata." Around Lake Okeechobee a
special reporting network is operated for the Corps
of Engineers during the luirfricane season for use in
operation of the lake controls.

U. S. Public Health Service
At the request of the state of Florida, the Public
Health Service provides, within the limits of its staff
and facilities, regular and emergency engineering ser-
vices as delineated by legislative authority through
the regional office in Atlanta, Georgia.
Some of the major service activities in the water
supply and pollution control field are: certification of
water supplies used on interstate carriers; development
fc bacteriological, physical and chemical standards for
quality of drinking water; cooperation with the state
board of health in collecting and publishing data on
municipal water supplies and sewerage; assisting the
state in pollution abatement programs; development
of pollution abatement programs for interstate waters;
and supporting and assisting in technical research.
The service also provides grants to the state to expand
the existing program of the state, and under certain
conditions it provides grants to assist political sub-
divisions in the construction of sewage treatment
Management of Florida's water resources is a com-
plex undertaking. This is demonstrated in part by
the existence of many active programs relating to the
physical aspects of water management, including basic
data collection. Knowledge of these programs is there-
fore necessary to an understanding of the over-all
water-resources management picture. Table 9 sum-
marizes the functions of the various agencies in Flor-
ida's water resources. Each x indicates that the agency
has certain responsibilities in the field of water-
resource management so indicated.
At first glance it would appear that there is con-
siderable overlap and duplication of effort. However,
detailed examination of the various programs reveals
little duplication. The parallel functions of different
agencies are generally coordinated or else pertain to
different aspects of the over-all program.
The outline serves to point up areas where there is
need for a state-level agency. The collection and analy-
sis of basic data is a function common to many existing
programs, but no agency is charged with the responsi-
bility of facilitating the distribution and use of exist-
ing information.
Second, there is some regulation of water use, such
as that exercised by districts over irrigation waters and
the state's pollution abatement program, but no agency




.2 C
.1 C* I U 1!
c "

S. | -- -S

E. Water Q quality Data x x x x x
I. Basic Data, Analyis & Research
A. Weather Data x x x x x x x
B. Surface Water Data x x x x x
C. Flood Forecasting x x
D. roundd Water uata x x x x x
E. Water Qualit Data x x x x x x
F. Beach Erosion D)ata ____ x x
G. Soil Moistril x x x x
H. Tidal Water Data x x x
I. Topographic Mapping x x
II. Regulation of water use x x x x x x
III. Pollution Abatement
A. RMnicipal x x x x x x
B. Industrial x x x x x x x
IV. Development of Water Supplies
A. Municipal xx
B. Industrial x x x
C. Irrigation x x x x x
D. Recreational x x x x x x
V. Soil & Water Conservation x x x x x x x
VI. Flood Mitigation x x x x x x
VII. Drainage x x x x x x x
VIII. Insect or Wecd Control x x x x x [
IX. Navigation x x x

is empowered to provide general regulation of the
state's water resources where such regulation is needed
for the general welfare. Moreover, there is no agency
with power to administer problems arising from the'
lawful rights of people to use water.
Third, no state agency exists to deal with prob-

lems arising in connection with development of water
supplies, flood mitigation, drainage, or navigation.
It would appear that all of the foregoing aspects of
water-resources management merit administrative at-
tention at the state level.


Findings And Conclusions

During its study the Commission gathered much
information relating to the physical, administrative
and legal aspects of Florida's water resources. Al-
though it was impractical to include all such material,
the more important considerations have been pre-
sented in the foregoing report, together with support-
ing data. The following paragraphs present the ma-
jor findings of the Commission and the conclusions
that were drawn therefrom.
The broad recommendations given in Chapter VI
are based upon these findings and conclusions.
1. Second in importance only to the state's human
resources, Florida's water resources are perhaps the
state's most valuable asset. All segments of Florida's
population, economy and general welfare are directly
influenced by the waters that lie on, beneath, or
around the state. Consequently, this study has been de-
signed to present a comprehensive picture of the state's
water resources, to examine the problems connected
with these resources, and to point the way for mini-
mizing the adverse effects of such problems.
2. In the past, one of the major water-resources prob-
lems encountered in Florida has been that created by
temporary excess water. The problem has been par-
tially solved by the construction of many drainage,
flood control and watershed protection systems, but
excess water will continue to be of major concern in
the future.
3. Within recent years problems arising in connec-
tion with attempts to increase the use of water re-
sources have grown in importance. In specific areas
problems-resulting from damage to water itself have
also been recorded. Problems of water use and prob-
lems of damage to water will become increasingly
more important with the growth of Florida's popula-
tion, her industrial and agricultural efforts, and the
recreational use of her water resources.
4. Problems of water use and development vary
widely from place to place and a solution of each prob-
lem should be made in keeping with the needs of the
area in which the problems arise. However, Florida's
hydrology is extremely complex, and the solution of
a problem for one area should be reviewed to deter-
mine its effect on the water resources of other areas
so that it does not create problems for others.

5. The existing water law is based on some statu-
tory and special legislation and on court rulings. In
general the present surface water law limits the use
of water by those who own lands bordering on streams,
lakes and canals but does not provide a satisfactory
quantitative guide for such use. In times of shortage,
most of the water users do not have adequate legal
security to protect their investments.
6. Those who own lands not touching on surface
watercourses are generally not entitled to such waters
with the exception of flood waters for municipal, in-
dustrial, irrigation, commercial livestock, and similar
use. However, these users often need access to and use
of such surface waters for beneficial purposes.
7. The present law concerning storage of water in
a watercourse for later use is not clear. Definite rights
to use such water should be established.
8. The status of a landowner's right to use the waters
lying beneath the ground surface has not been defined.
Litigation on one aspect of this question is currently
under way, but there is need for clarification of the
legal picture to provide a more satisfactory quantita-
tive guide for all ground-water users.
9. A set of legal definitions pertaining to atmospheric
water, diffused surface water, surface water in well-
defined beds and banks, ground water, tidal water,
and other aspects is needed. Such definitions could
serve to clarify existing law and could help to form
a basis upon which to construct a system of law that
would provide beneficial water users with clear rights
to the use of water and would facilitate proper water
management in Florida.
10. Since any plan to alter natural weather phe-
nomena is of concern to Florida, state surveillance of
weather modification attempts is desirable. Attempts
to increase the amount of rainfall by artificial means
have not been shown to be successful in Florida.
11. In general the total water resources of the state
exceed the needs within the foreseeable future if
properly managed. However, the distribution of rain-
fall is poor and there are periods of time when gen-
eral water shortages occur and local water shortages
Become acute. On other occasions the rainfall is ex-
cessive and floods result I.cause the existing drainage-
ways are overtaxed. Such extremes cause distress to
most types of water users, but possibly agricultural

operations are most vulnerable to these extremes. Even,
in many wet years there are periods during which in-
sufficient moisture is present in the soil for optimunlm
crop production. Consequently, management of the
fresh water resources may be as important during
normal or wet years as in dry ones.
12. Average rainfall, lake and ground-water levels,
and stream-flow values are often misleading, since they
do not usually reflect the actual conditions existing
at any given time. Existing analyses in terms of
averages are inadequate and additional analyses should
be undertaken.
13. The programs for collection of data on rainfall,
stream flow and lake levels, and ground-water eleva-
tions were started some years ago. However, none
of the observation networks are adequate to permit a
proper and complete analysis of the state's water re-
sources. Also, data on water losses caused by evapo-
transpiration are almost lacking even though this loss
appears to equal the average annual rainfall in some
parts of the state. Some of the data collected are not
published, but there is need for distribution of this
information. These programs should be continued
and in many cases expanded to obtain data important
to proper management of the state's water resources.
14. During normal years there is a tremendous
quantity of surface water in Florida. An average of
about 40 billion gallons per day flows into the oceans,
largely unused, but most of this flow is from a few
rivers in the northern part of the state. In the penin-
sular most surface water can be retained in shallow
lakes, or it moves through ill-defined stream beds or
canals. The terrain is generally flat throughout the
state leaving few satisfactory sites for the storage of
surface water. This condition has resulted in the de-
velopment of water management techniques almost
unique to Florida wherein the management of the en-
tire water resources over large areas are necessary to
insure success. The Central and Southern Florida
Flood Control District is an example. Surface water
is the primary source of supply for most of the in i-
gation, power production, and recreational uses in
the state.
15. Ground water in copious quantities is avail-
able at most locations in the state. The water-bearing
beds beneath the ground surface act as reservoirs and
as distribution systems and are used as a source of
supply by most municipalities and many industries.
There has probably been no general permanent lower-
ing of water tables and pressures, but in some locations
overdrainage or heavy pumping has created difficul-
ties. In many instances flowing wells have ceased to

16. The wasteful flow of ground water has been re-
corded at a number of wild artesian wells. The Florida
Geological Survey is currently engaged in an inventory
of the flowing wells in the state. This work should
be continued as a basis for reducing loss of ground
water in this manner.
17. Large withdrawals of ground water and exces-
sive drainage of low surface areas have resulted in the
intrusion of salt water into fresh in several areas. The
resulting damage has created a serious problem. To
prevent further damage to the ground waters in these
areas they should be placed under regular observation
and the pumping rate, spacing of additional wells,
and conservation practices governed by the informa-
tion obtained.
18. The natural quality of both surface and ground
water in Florida is quite variable and in some areas
strictly limits its municipal, agricultural or industrial
use. Insufficient measurements have been made on
water quality.
19. The quality of surface, ground and tidal waters
has been impaired by municipal and industrial wastes
in some areas. The problem is not general since the
state has conducted an active pollution abatement
program in cooperation with many cities and indus-
tries. However, in the interest of maintaining the
state's water resources for further beneficial use, this
program should be supported and enlarged.
20. In some areas large quantities of water are re-
turned to the ground after being used for cooling
purposes. The result is a build-up of heat in the
ground water. If this practice continues and grows
the usefulness of ground waters in some areas will be
impaired because of the increased temperature.
21. The largest of all water users in Florida is that
required for agricultural operations. The agricultural
land-use pattern shows a definite trend towards opera-
tions that depend upon water control. There are at
present about 16,000 water control systems in the state
serving three-quarters of a million acres of farm land.
Surface water serves as the source of supply for most
systems, but during droughts there is insufficient
quantity to meet the needs in many areas. Where
ground water is used the supply is generally adequate
but the quality of ground water prohibits its use in
some localities.
22. The combined use of water by municipal, in-
dustrial and agricultural operations averages about 4
billion gallons per day, and it is estimated this rate will
increase almost 70 per cent within the next 14 years.
If this demand were uniformly distributed over the
state there would likely be few problems of use. But
increases in population and industrial concentrations
will be paralleled with attendant conflicts over use,

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