Fresh Water Use in Florida: Trends and Drivers
- Many studies related to water have been carried out in Florida, and no research has compared different regions of the state. However, elements such as weather, population, level of urbanization, and agricultural and industrial activities, which are most likely to influence water use, may vary from one region to another region of the state [15,16,17].
- Studies have explored one or more categories of water use in the entire Florida or parts of it, e.g., irrigation. Most water-related studies in Florida have examined water use from different perspectives using various analytical approaches. Some studies have estimated outdoor water use by identifying factors associated with irrigation practices  and analyzing combinations of irrigation planning and landscape/irrigation design to reduce irrigation water application . Water use is also assessed in agricultural activities by examining irrigation water use on sandy soil . Toor and Rainey  analyzed the use of reclaimed water to reduce surface and groundwater use, while Anderson  presented some of the advantages of reclaimed water use. Leal et al.  described the level of importance Florida residents associate with water quantity issues. Palenchar et al.  investigated water use patterns and volume for indoor purposes. To our knowledge, studies have not compared the freshwater use in terms of all eight categories namely: aquaculture, livestock, irrigation, thermoelectric power, mining, industrial self-supply, domestic self-supply, and public supply.
- Leal et al.  suggested that water use comparison between urban and rural areas could be very interesting, especially since rural and urban areas differ in population and land use/land cover properties, including commercial, residential, services, or industrial entities . Besides, a high population can contribute to a decrease in existing water sources .
- More and more variables have been incorporated into the models to the point that water use drivers vary greatly . Drivers can positively or negatively influence water use. From a conservation awareness perspective, identifying and understanding water use drivers in Florida can contribute to water resource management and policy-making.
2. Study Region, Methodology, and Datasets Used
2.1. Study Region
- ❖ Water-Use Categories for all counties in Florida
- Public-supply water use—Water delivered to domestic, commercial, and industrial users by public and private water suppliers.
- Domestic self-supply water use—Water withdrawn from a private source, such as a well, or captured as rainwater in a cistern for usage purposes in the domestic sector.
- Industrial self-supply water use—Water from a private source for fabricating, processing, washing, diluting, cooling, or transporting a product; incorporating water into a product; or sanitation needs within the manufacturing facility.
- Mining water use—Water used to extract minerals from solids, such as coal, iron, sand, and gravel; liquids, such as crude petroleum; and gases, such as natural gas.
- Thermoelectric power water use—Water used to generate electricity with steam-driven turbine generators. This category includes Once-through cooling and Recirculating cooling systems.
- Irrigation water use—Water applied to sustain plant growth in agricultural practices.
- Livestock water use—Water associated with livestock watering, feedlots, dairy operations, cooling of facilities for the animals and products, dairy sanitation, and wash down of facilities.
- Aquaculture water use—Water associated with raising organisms that live in water, such as finfish and shellfish.
- Urban/Rural Water Use
- ❖ Total Water Use
- ❖ Agricultural Water Use
- ❖ Per Capita Water Use
3.1. Patterns and Trends in Water Use
3.1.1. Total Water Use
- ₋ Irrigation—Three (3) types of irrigation practices were observed in Florida: sprinkler/spray irrigation (method of applying water in a controlled manner that is similar to rainfall), micro-irrigation (low-pressure, low-flow-rate type of irrigation that can reduce the likelihood of overwatering a landscape), and surface irrigation (also known as flood or furrow irrigation), where farmers flow water down small trenches running through their crops. Compared to all the other categories, in 2005, irrigation water use was 17.4% in north Florida, 44.7% in central Florida, and 58.9% in south Florida (Figure 5). In 2010, irrigation water use increased to 20.5%, 46.9%, and 61.9% in north, central, and south Florida consecutively (Figure 6). In 2015, irrigation water use was still 21% in north Florida as of 2010. However, it has consecutively decreased to 35.8% and 60.2% in central and south Florida (Figure 7).
- ₋ Aquaculture—Aquaculture water use was less than 1% in all three Florida regions in 2005 and 2015 (Figure 5 and Figure 7). In 2010, aquaculture water use was less than 1% in north and central Florida. Curiously, in 2010, the data reported showed that there was no water use in aquaculture in south Florida (Figure 6).
- ₋ Public Supply—In 2005, the public water supply was 30.1% in north Florida, 42.7% in central Florida, and 36.3% in south Florida (Figure 5). In 2010, public-supply water use decreased to 36.9% and 33.2% in central and south Florida consecutively but was 30.3% in north Florida (Figure 6). In 2015, public-supply water use decreased to 29.3% in north Florida, while it increased to 53.2% and 33.9% in central Florida and south Florida, consecutively (Figure 7).
- ₋ Domestic Self-Supply—In 2005, domestic self-supplied water use was 6.4% in north Florida, 2.5% in central Florida, and 1.2% in south Florida (Figure 5). In 2010, it consecutively dropped to 6.1% and remained at 1.2% in north and south Florida, while it increased to 4.4% in central Florida (Figure 6). In 2015, domestic self-supplied water use increased to 6.3% in the north, decreased to 3.5% in central Florida, and slightly dropped to 1.1% in south Florida (Figure 7).
- ₋ Industrial Self-Supply—Self-supplied water use was 12.5% in north Florida, 2.3% in central Florida, and less than 1% in south Florida in 2005 (Figure 5). In 2010, it consecutively dropped to 11.9%, 2%, and remained less than 1% in north, central, and south Florida, while it increased to 4.4% in central Florida (Figure 6). In 2015, industrial self-supplied water use remained at 12.3% in north Florida as in 2005, but increased to 3.5% and dropped to less than 1% in central and south Florida consecutively (Figure 7).
- ₋ Mining—In 2005, water use in the mining sector was 3% in north and central Florida regions (Figure 5 and Figure 6) and 2.6% in south Florida. In 2010, it decreased to 2.2%, 1.3% and 2.1% in north, central, and south Florida (Figure 6). In 2015, mining water use was 2% in north Florida, 1.4% in central, and 3.1% in south Florida (Figure 7).
- ₋ Thermoelectric Power—In 2005, thermoelectric power water use was 30.3% in north Florida, 4.3% in central Florida, and 0.5% in south Florida (Figure 5). In 2010, It decreased to 28.3% in north Florida but increased to 8% and 1.4% in central and south Florida consecutively (Figure 6). In 2015, thermoelectric power water use decreased to 27.6% in north Florida, 1.6% in central, and 1.2% in south Florida (Figure 7).
3.1.2. Urban and Rural Water Use
3.1.3. Water Use by Source
3.1.4. Change in Water Use
3.2. Drivers of Water Use
|Environmental||Land use/land cover change||[16,49]|
3.3. Water Use and Population
|North Florida||y = 1.292x + 39.29||0.242||0.492||y = 1.353x + 42.34||0.239||0.489||y = 1.394x + 47.36||0.206||0.454|
|Central Florida||y = 1.589x + 121.9||0.351||0.593||y = 1.954x + 76.39||0.354||0.595||y = 2.537x + 92.7||0.451||0.672|
|South Florida||y = 0.1952x + 597.6||0.007||0.082||y = 0.4926x + 526.5||0.0227||0.151||y = 0.3579x + 631.||0.013||0.116|
4.1. Demand, Supply, and Water Use Quantity
4.2. Drivers of Change Affecting Florida Water Use
4.3. Assumptions, limitations, next steps
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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Morain, A.; Anandhi, A. Fresh Water Use in Florida: Trends and Drivers. Water 2022, 14, 3726. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14223726
Morain A, Anandhi A. Fresh Water Use in Florida: Trends and Drivers. Water. 2022; 14(22):3726. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14223726Chicago/Turabian Style
Morain, Almando, and Aavudai Anandhi. 2022. "Fresh Water Use in Florida: Trends and Drivers" Water 14, no. 22: 3726. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14223726