Central Florida Water Initiative Brings Collaboration

For about 2.7 million residents in a five-county area of Central Florida, the Floridan aquifer system is the main source of stored freshwater.

And while Florida generally receives 50 to 55 inches of rainfall each year, not all that rain reaches the aquifer. About 37 inches evaporates back into the air or runs off land into ponds, lakes or rivers.

Today, the current average total water use is about 800 million gallons per day in Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole and southern Lake counties. It is estimated that this area will need an additional 300 million gallons per day by the year 2035. However, we’ve determined there isn’t enough groundwater to meet all the projected needs.

Most of that additional need can only be met through expanded water conservation and other alternative water resources.

That’s why the Central Florida Water Initiative was created. Better known as CFWI, it is a collaborative water supply planning effort among the state’s three largest water management districts, and the Florida departments of Environmental Protection and Agriculture and Consumer Services.

But the planning goes beyond government agencies to include water utilities, environmental groups, business organizations, the agricultural community and other stakeholders. 

All of these groups have come together to plan the water supply needs for a five-county area in the central part of the state during the next 20 years. 

CFWI planners have developed a series of projects to help meet that need. This includes developing a comprehensive computer model, evaluating water bodies in the region and creating measuring tools that are consistent among all agencies.

And while the CFWI partners are hard at work, it will take the public’s commitment too through water conservation and other water-saving programs.

So log on to CFWIWater.com to learn how you can be part of the solution. Because having enough water for tomorrow begins with all of us today.