Experts remain hopeful about Lower Floridian “Aquifer” as alternative source
To my neighbors north of Florida.
Remember that when you run out of drinking water from your part of the upper aquifer, you cannot draw from the lower aquifer?
Yes I have been writing many post about our drinking water, upper, lower aquifer, so much so that people must be getting turned off?
Please remember that this involves all of Florida and a good chunk of George, Alabama and South Carolina drinking water?
And our government officials (Florida) are giving it away for close to free!
Before you read this latest lie from our government remember that there is a simple cheap, cheap to taxpayers, solution to all of our drinking water problems?
Give the companies now drawing water out of our upper aquifer 2 to 3 years to shut down and move down and draw out of the lower aquifer!
That’s all bottle water companies, beer, soda and soft drink companies!
Two of my many postings.
Lower Aquifer/Upper Aquifer
St. Johns needs to provide better explanation
Today’s ‘HOAX’ in the newspaper
It will cost the taxpayers millions of millions of dollars to clean up the water in the lower aquifer!
Preliminary models analyzing an alternative water supply in south Lake have shown the Lower Floridian Aquifer could be a viable water source in the future.
“The model shows that could be a successful strategy,” said Alan Oyler, a consultant to the South Lake Regional Water Initiative (SLRWI). “The modeling shows it reduces impact from withdrawing from the Upper Floridian Aquifer.
The SLRWI is a coalition that includes the cities of Clermont, Groveland, Minneola, Mascotte, Montverde, the south Lake Chamber of Commerce, private utility companies and the county, working in conjunction with the Central Florida Water Initiative to find an alternative water supply.
Oyler said the results are preliminary and based on old projections of an additional water demand of 12.7 million gallons per day.
“New projections are two and half times that,” he said. “We need projections revised and vetted.”
Commissioner Sean Parks, co-founder of the SLRWI, also is cautiously optimistic.
“It certainly looks promising but it is key to remember it is one solution among a pallet of solutions,” he said.
Other solutions include storm water harvesting and reuse, he added.
Water experts have cautioned that south Lake County has a little under five years to find an alternative water supply before withdrawals from the Floridian Aquifer could began impacting lakes, wetlands and springs.
The Central Florida region uses 800 million gallons of water a day and, by 2035, there will be an additional demand of 300 million gallons of water per day. The problem, water experts state, is there will only be 50 million gallons left that can be met by the traditional source.
SLRWI officials learned in August 2014 that south Lake County would need twice the water previously thought to accommodate its burgeoning population in the next 20 years.
It is estimated by 2035, residents in south Lake will need 63 million gallons of water per day, up from previous estimates of 30 million gallons. And water experts say that by 2035, six of the region’s lakes will fall beneath their minimum levels if the projected groundwater withdrawals are allowed to occur.
Because of these projections, the St. Johns River Water Management District would not issue permits, allowing the withdrawal of that amount of water.
In 2014, the SLRWI received $300,000 from the state to study the lower aquifer as a viable alternative water source. Oyler said the study is tentatively scheduled to be completed in September.
The challenge is determining whether the two aquifers are truly separated by a confining layer of earth and are not simply part of the same aquifer system, Oyler said.
But because the lower aquifer is largely untapped, much of it remains a mystery to scientists and geologists. The first unknown is what the water quality will be, Oyler said.
“If we can indeed extract water from the lower Floridian, will we get the benefit of another confining unit to help reduce impacts at the surface?” he said.
Overall, the goal is to prevent the lowering of lake levels and the dehydration of wetlands, he said.
Meanwhile, a U.S. Geological Survey released in late 2014 showed “total freshwater withdrawals decreased by more than 1,792 million gallons per day (22 percent) between 2000 and 2010 while the population increased by 0.88 million (88 percent)” in the state of Florida. (2010) The report cited several factors having contributed to a decline in water use, including water conservation, the use of alternative water sources, increased rainfall and changes in economic conditions.
Richard Marella, geographer for the U.S. Geological Survey, who wrote the report, said his analysis showed the trends in the state.
“What is going on in Lake County specifically could be different than what I am showing,” he said in a phone interview. “It could be different at the local level.”
Previous USGS estimates statewide, Oyler said, also were conducted during the downturn of the economy, where water use was less.
Groveland Mayor Tim Loucks, co-founder of the SLRWI, said he has seen the city’s growth rate increase 176 percent in the city as over 800 homes were built in 2014.
“We are seeing an increase of water demands because of the city’s explosive growth rate,” he said.
Now, that is changing as new development and population growth continues in the region, he said.
“Lake County is a little behind central Florida in the development curve,” he added. “We are now putting in reclaimed water system to offset potable demands.”
Oyler said that while water use has remained flat locally, it is changing with newer developments as people continue to use more water for irrigation of landscapes that are watered on a consistent basis.
“Outside water use has accounted for 50 percent of overall water demand,” he said. “Evaluating flow records shows a significant difference between water consumption in older and more recently developed areas.”
Residents are more conscious today about water use, particularly in the home where dishwashers and washing machines are more efficient, Oyler said.
But at the same time, he said newer homes have in ground irrigation systems and sparse tree cover.
“Newer developments use a lot more water for irrigation,” he said.
The projections are robust, Oyler acknowledged, but at the same time, are valid.
“It is the result of both population growth and the current nature of new development,” he said.
arks said landscape water use is higher in the county because of the physiography, or land surface of the region, as well as continued population growth.
“The soils are more permeable and it takes more water to keep the roots hydrated,” he said. “We are one of the fastest growing areas in Central Florida.”
As a result, the SLRWI is working to get all the cities unified on landscaping codes that are strict for new development and require Florida friendly landscaping and limiting irrigation for landscaping.
LIVI STANFORD | Staff Writer