TALLAHASSEE – Recognizing that water reuse is essential to ensuring safe,
clean and sustainable water resources, the Florida Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) and the state’s five Water Management Districts observe the
third week in May as Water Reuse Week. A national leader, Florida currently
reuses more than 240 billion gallons of reclaimed water each year statewide.
“Water reuse is the key to conserving freshwater supplies and replenishing
our rivers, streams, lakes and aquifers,” said DEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard
Jr. “Working with the Water Management Districts and other state partners, DEP
will continue to ensure that our state is balancing environmental protection
with future water supply needs.”
Water reuse is the beneficial use of reclaimed water, highly treated
wastewater, for landscape and golf course irrigation, agricultural irrigation,
industrial uses, toilet flushing, fire protection, decorative water features and
ground water recharge. Among the many “net results” of reuse are that it
augments Florida’s water resources and allows other sources of fresh water to be
conserved or saved. In 2010, using reclaimed water saved Florida the use of more
than 121 billion gallons of fresh potable quality water and replenished more
than 80 billion gallons of reclaimed water back into our precious aquifers.
Florida has risen to be the national leader in water reuse, which has become
a critical component of water management. Florida’s permitted reuse capacity
exceeds 1.5 billion gallons per day, more than 62 percent of Florida’s total
permitted capacity for all domestic wastewater treatment facilities.
DEP and the state’s five Water Management Districts, with assistance from the
Florida Department of Health, Florida Public Service Commission and other state
agencies, implement an award-winning Water Reuse Program. In 2006, the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency honored Florida’s Water Reuse Program with the
prestigious Water Efficiency Leader Award in recognition of the water
conservation achievements of the program. Florida currently uses reclaimed water
to irrigate 281,781 residences, 525 golf courses, 877 parks and 324 schools.
“Reclaimed water is critical to the mission of the District,” said Dave
Moore, Southwest Florida Water Management District executive director. “Today,
10 percent of all water demands within our District are supplied by reuse and by
2030 that number is anticipated to grow to nearly 20 percent, or 280 million
gallons per day of new water supplies.”
In 1980, utilities within the Southwest Florida Water Management District
were using less than 15 million gallons per day (mgd) of available wastewater
flows. Through the District’s assistance, utilities are now reusing more than
162 mgd. The District’s goal is to achieve a 75 percent utilization or 373 mgd
of reclaimed water by 2030, thereby achieving 280 mgd of new water supplies.
The Water Protection and Sustainability Program was established in 2005 to
help water suppliers fund alternative water supply projects, including reuse.
Through the program the Water Management Districts have been able to help fund a
total of 320 water reuse projects throughout the state to date.
To learn more about Florida’s reuse program and read Governor Scott’s
Proclamation of Water Reuse Week visit
To learn more about the State Revolving Fund Loan Program and water
facilities funding, visit