Water Supply Planning
It's Easy to Take Water for Granted
Without much thought, you turn on the faucet and water flows out. We see water all around us in Florida, which averages more rain in a year (50-60 inches) than most other states. How could water supply ever be a worry in South Florida?
Growing Demand for Limited Water Resources
More than 3 billion gallons of water are used every day in central and southern Florida by 8.1 million residents and millions of visitors – for drinking and bathing, watering our lawns, growing our crops and servicing our industries. With increasing water demands, the region's traditional freshwater sources may not be enough to inexpensively meet all future water needs.
Planning for Future Needs
Some examples of alternative water supply include:
- Saline water sources and reverse osmosis treatment– using brackish (salty) water from deeper aquifers for drinking water
- Aquifer storage and recovery – storing water in an aquifer system when there is excess water and recovering the stored water during dry times when it is needed
- Reclaimed water use – using reclaimed, treated water for irrigating residential lots, golf courses and other green spaces and for groundwater recharge and industrial uses
Through technical and funding assistance, the South Florida Water Management District helps local governments meet state requirements and protect our water resources.
To match projected water use determined in the water supply plans with actual water use, the South Florida Water Management District issues permits that determine how much water city and county utilities and other large users are allowed to withdraw from our shared underground water reserves.
We are not the agency responsible for delivering or treating the water you use in your home or business. If you have questions about your water bill or rates, water pressure or drinking water quality, you should contact your city or county or utility. The same is true for sewage treatment questions.
Utility Rate Survey
The SFWMD Utility Rate Survey Report provides an inventory of the water and wastewater rates of utilities within the District’s boundaries. The purpose of the report is to assess the pricing of water within the District’s boundaries and to inventory the region’s use of rate structures that encourage water efficiency. Rate structures are set by individual water providers and vary widely in complexity and cost, reflecting the difference in water supply sources, treatment processes, infrastructure, debt service and other factors.
Estimated Water Use Report
The SFWMD 2017 Estimated Water Use Report is a compilation of estimated water use in six use categories within SFWMD's region for calendar year 2017. The report is based primarily on water pumpage records reported pursuant to water use permitting requirements.
- Public Water Supply (1,084 mgd)
- Domestic and Small Public Supply (41 mgd)
- Agricultural Irrigation (1,076 mgd)
- Recreational/Landscape Irrigation (302 mgd)
- Industrial/Commercial/Institutional (116 mgd)
- Power Generation (10 mgd)
Of the 2,629 mgd, approximately 1,640 mgd were derived from groundwater and 989 mgd were derived from surface water sources, with 2,444 mgd being fresh water and 185 mgd considered saline water. Additionally, approximately 254 mgd of reclaimed water were used primarily for landscape irrigation and, to a lesser extent, industrial and power generation uses.
The District began preparing annual water use estimation reports with 2014 data. Publication time for each report accounts for submittal of water use data by users, data entry and verification, data analysis and compilation and report development. To see previous reports:
- SFWMD 2016 Estimated Water Use Report (Revised 2019)
- SFWMD 2015 Estimated Water Use Report (Revised 2019)
- SFWMD 2014 Estimated Water Use Report
For water use reports from other agencies:
- Southwest Florida Water Management District
- St. Johns River Water Management District
- U.S. Geological Survey