March 28, 2007

The Southwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board Tuesday approved a modification of a water use permit that will allow the City of Winter Haven to pump more water to meet the projected population growth through 2009.

The permitted quantity was 10,565,300 gallons per day (gpd.) Under the modified permit, the city will now be able to withdraw 12,285,000 gpd. This permitted quantity will primarily supply potable water to single and multi-family developments and will also be used for landscape irrigation and commercial and industrial purposes.

As part of the permit, the city must seek alternative water supply sources such as reclaimed water and surface water to alleviate future demands on the Floridan aquifer. This year the city has applied for cooperative funding for seven projects dealing with reuse and other alternative sources. The city has also received $50,000 from the District to develop a reuse master plan, which proposes upgrading its wastewater treatment facilities and distribution systems.

As part of the permit, the city is also required to promote water conservation. In an effort to do so, the city has reduced its water use from 148 to 133 gallons of water per person per day.

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