With more than 7,700 lakes, 700 springs and 825 miles of sandy beaches, people might not believe water is depleted in Florida.
A new water survey from UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and the Center for Public Issues Education showed that Floridians are more concerned with water quality than with water quantity.
Alexa Lamm, director for the National Public Policy Evaluation Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources, led the survey of 469 Floridians in December. In a monthly webinar series, she said most Floridians are confident their community will have enough water, but not as confident about the safety of water in their homes.
Cynthia Barnett, water activist, author and journalist, spoke at the Lou Frey Institute’s Water and Florida’s Future Spring 2013 Symposium on Monday morning. She said she is concerned about the perception held by the public because Floridians have an illusion of water abundance.
“Water flows from our taps like magic,” Barnett said. “We enjoy an endless and cheap supply of clean water, and we are more than happy to be absolved for the realities of our wastewater.”
At the symposium, Blake Guillory, the executive director of the Southwest Florida Water Management District, said his district uses about a billion gallons of water each day.
“We make sure there is enough supply available for the public, for industry and for agriculture,” he said.
Barnett said one solution that ensures Florida’s water future is as rich as its past is a new ethic for water.
“A water ethic means making sure that the way we live with water today doesn’t jeopardize fresh, clean water for our children and ecosystems of tomorrow,” she said.