Even though water surrounds us and runs under and even through our city, it is one of our most limited resources. A growing population here and in cities throughout our region means that more than 5.5 million people need fresh water each year. Nearly all of us obtain almost all of our drinking water from the same underground aquifer system. It is therefore our responsibility to conserve water as much as possible, especially because it is a shared resource. Together we must also overcome the challenges of having fresh water in the future. Those challenges are: the potential for salt water intrusion due to sea level rise, periodic drought due to natural weather cycles and also changes in our climate, and ever aging infrastructure.
Our Water Cycle
Thinking about some of our torrential summer downpours, it is hard to fathom that we could ever reach a time when water would be scarce. It is important to know that groundwater is not replenished from rains as quickly as rivers and lakes refill. It takes time for that water to seep into the soil and to move slowly down to the underground aquifer. Not all stormwater is absorbed into the ground. Water evaporates, is used by plants and trees in the process of transpiration, or it flows into the ocean with the help of our intricate canal system built to minimize flooding. In any given year, drought can occur in South Florida despite all of the rain we receive and the water that surrounds us. Records show that 2006 and 2007 were the driest back-to-back years Florida has experienced dating back to the 1932 beginning of record keeping.
How Much Do We Need?
Conserving water by using it in an efficient manner is crucial because we need water to survive. Water makes up almost two-thirds of the human body and seventy percent of our brains! We need about 2.5 quarts (or ten cups) of water per day to maintain good health, especially living in warm South Florida. We get some of this water from other sources -- other beverages and the foods we eat-- but having those drinks and edibles ultimately requires water. Water is used to grow the crops and sustain the livestock that go into producing the food that we consume and some of the fabrics we wear. Water is essential to medical care, manufacturing, energy production, sanitation and indoor climate control. Each of us uses almost 183 gallons (2,928 cups) of water each day. Keep reading to discover ways to reduce your water use by making simple yet effective changes to your daily routine.
Saving Water....and more!
From its source to your tap, the City of Fort Lauderdale provides its neighbors millions of gallons of water every day by treating and filtering wastewater and delivering clean water to your home or business. However, a large amount of energy is required to treat and transport water. Therefore, by saving water you are also saving energy!
Saving water leads to saving money too. The things you do to green your routine are sure to shave dollars off of your utility bill. It's easy too! There are so many ways to save water inside and outdoors. To learn more about how you can conserve water, follow all of the great resources in this section of our website.
You can start by calculating your water use, what conservation would save you, and how much hidden drips may be costing. Try these two calculators. The first is available on both the Broward Water Partnership and South Florida Water Management District websites, and the second is from the American Water Works Association.
Water Conservation Calculator Drip Calculator