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Water Consumption and Overuse

Every day more than four billion gallons of water are withdrawn from the aquifer to satisfy demands of people, agriculture and industry impacting water levels and flow in the aquifer and springs.

Image of A seemingly limitless supply of water is at our disposal, yet increasing 	water consumption is threatening our aquifer and springs.Zoom+ A seemingly limitless supply of water is at our disposal, yet increasing water consumption is threatening our aquifer and springs. © Russell Sparkman

Although it is known around the world as "the Sunshine State", Florida could very well be called "the Water State". Yet, Florida's abundance of aquatic environments does not mean that we have water to spare. Every day, over four billion gallons of groundwater are consumed to satisfy the demands of agriculture, industry, power plants, development, and municipal and public water supplies, and as a result, we are depleting our natural, underground water resources faster than they can be replenished. Excess groundwater use does not simply mean we may one day run out of water, however. It also has a direct, negative impact on the biological communities of the springs as well as possibly leading to the collapse of the underground geologic structures and the formation of more sinkholes.

At many springs, water flow levels have been dramatically reduced. For example, flow at Blue Spring in Volusia County, has decreased significantly thereby reducing critical habitat for more than 100 manatees that visit the spring each winter. Kissengen Spring in Polk County was once a popular swimming area and place for recreation. By the 1950s, pumping of water in the spring recharge area caused the spring to dry up.

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Good Neighbors

Image of Don Bennink is helping both his business and the aquifer by using "high absorption" grasses like Tifton-85 to take up nutrients from the soil and protect the groundwater.

Read Stories about people working to protect springs. Go »

 

How You Can Help

Image of At the Citrus Country Extension demonstration garden, signs explain to visitors the principles and practices of a "spring friendly" yard while volunteers help with maintenance and getting the word out.

Steps you can take to help protect our springs. Go »

 

Learn About The Aquifer

Image of spring_flow

View an interactive presentation to learn more about our aquifer and human impacts on Florida's springs. Go »

 
 
 
My FloridaFlorida Department of Environmental Protection