For generations, Florida has relied on the Floridan Aquifer as the main source of drinking water. However, this once pristine, inexpensive and abundant water source is depleting fast. Increased development, an expanding population and inefficient water usage have led to large volumes of water being depleted from the Aquifer. The typical person in Florida uses about 160 gallons of water per day. Developments today use more water than previous construction because of the increase in landscape irrigating systems – which can account for over 65% of house hold’s water usage. Unrestricted pumping has reduced rivers, lakes and wetlands and has caused salt water to inhabit fresh water resources.
Evidence of the shrinking water supply exists all over the state. In North-central Florida, especially Orange County, drought conditions are becoming common and more frequent. Furthermore, it has been projected that Orlando’s water usage will increase from 1995 levels (526 million gallons per day) to close to 870 million gallons by 2020. AND, since 2013, the city of Orlando can no longer increase the rate at which it draws from its main fresh water supply – the Floridan Aquifier. Not surprisingly, this has become an important issue for various water stakeholders. These stakeholders include city officials and the developers, engineers and architects that are designing and building commercial and residential buildings that require water and the services it provides. Fortunately, many regions of Florida are adopting water conservation policies and practices that include water-rationing, and lawn-watering policies. Furthermore, many developers, architects and engineers are constructing water efficient buildings that incorporate onsite water reuse solutions like graywater (graywater) recycling and storm and rainwater harvesting.