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Florida Celebrates May 16-21 as Water Reuse Week

-DEP and Water Management Districts highlight ‘reuse’ as a key factor in Florida’s water future–

TALLAHASSEE – Recognizing that water reuse is essential to ensuring safe, clean and sustainable water resources, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the state’s five Water Management Districts observe the third week in May as Water Reuse Week. A national leader, Florida currently reuses more than 240 billion gallons of reclaimed water each year statewide.

“Water reuse is the key to conserving freshwater supplies and replenishing our rivers, streams, lakes and aquifers,” said DEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. “Working with the Water Management Districts and other state partners, DEP will continue to ensure that our state is balancing environmental protection with future water supply needs.”

Water reuse is the beneficial use of reclaimed water, highly treated wastewater, for landscape and golf course irrigation, agricultural irrigation, industrial uses, toilet flushing, fire protection, decorative water features and ground water recharge. Among the many “net results” of reuse are that it augments Florida’s water resources and allows other sources of fresh water to be conserved or saved. In 2010, using reclaimed water saved Florida the use of more than 121 billion gallons of fresh potable quality water and replenished more than 80 billion gallons of reclaimed water back into our precious aquifers.

Florida has risen to be the national leader in water reuse, which has become a critical component of water management. Florida’s permitted reuse capacity exceeds 1.5 billion gallons per day, more than 62 percent of Florida’s total permitted capacity for all domestic wastewater treatment facilities.

DEP and the state’s five Water Management Districts, with assistance from the Florida Department of Health, Florida Public Service Commission and other state agencies, implement an award-winning Water Reuse Program. In 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honored Florida’s Water Reuse Program with the prestigious Water Efficiency Leader Award in recognition of the water conservation achievements of the program. Florida currently uses reclaimed water to irrigate 281,781 residences, 525 golf courses, 877 parks and 324 schools.

“Reclaimed water is critical to the mission of the District,” said Dave Moore, Southwest Florida Water Management District executive director. “Today, 10 percent of all water demands within our District are supplied by reuse and by 2030 that number is anticipated to grow to nearly 20 percent, or 280 million gallons per day of new water supplies.”

In 1980, utilities within the Southwest Florida Water Management District were using less than 15 million gallons per day (mgd) of available wastewater flows. Through the District’s assistance, utilities are now reusing more than 162 mgd. The District’s goal is to achieve a 75 percent utilization or 373 mgd of reclaimed water by 2030, thereby achieving 280 mgd of new water supplies.

The Water Protection and Sustainability Program was established in 2005 to help water suppliers fund alternative water supply projects, including reuse. Through the program the Water Management Districts have been able to help fund a total of 320 water reuse projects throughout the state to date.

To learn more about Florida’s reuse program and read Governor Scott’s Proclamation of Water Reuse Week visit www.dep.state.fl.us/water/reuse/week.htm

To learn more about the State Revolving Fund Loan Program and water facilities funding, visit www.dep.state.fl.us/water/wff/index.htm


"Water reuse is the key to conserving freshwater supplies and replenishing our rivers, streams, lakes and aquifers"

Herschel T. Vinyard Jr.
DEP Secretary



Last updated: May 17, 2011

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