Reclaimed water use protects drinking water supplies, offsets groundwater use
PALATKA, Fla., May 12, 2021 — To promote and encourage efficient use of reclaimed water, the St. Johns River Water Management District’s Governing Board on Tuesday approved a resolution proclaiming May 16–22 as Water Reuse Week.
“Florida is a national leader in water reuse, with almost a billion gallons per day of reclaimed water reused,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “In the St. Johns District, more than half the 380 million gallons per day (mgd) of reclaimed water is reused for beneficial purposes, helping to offset groundwater demands. We continue to partner with utilities to expand reclaimed water use across the region through our cost-share program.”
Over the last 30 years, Florida has worked to encourage and promote the reuse of reclaimed water. Since 1995, beneficial reuse in the District has grown by 166%.
Through its cooperative cost-share programs, the District has contributed more than $81 million over the past 17 years to reclaimed water projects to offset groundwater demands and protect Florida’s water supply for the future.
Water reuse is the process of using highly treated wastewater for beneficial purposes. Currently, there are 140 reuse systems in the District that use approximately 217 mgd of reclaimed water for beneficial purposes such as golf course and landscape irrigation, groundwater recharge and industrial uses, which offsets an equivalent volume of groundwater.
Since Florida water utilities began using reclaimed water in the 1970s, it has become a major component of water resource management by local governments and utilities within the state of Florida and the District.
Since 2007, the State of Florida, the Department of Environmental Protection, water management districts, water utilities, local governments and water-related organizations have declared the third week in May as Water Reuse Week to promote and encourage efficient use of reclaimed water.
The District actively promotes and encourages efficient and effective use of reclaimed water by: