Grants available in South Florida to help pay for water-saving measures
The South Florida Water Management District is offering grants to pay up to half the cost to develop alternative water supplies that will help meet the growing demand.
There was a time when machines that turned saltwater into freshwater, and wells that sucked up brackish layers of the Floridan aquifer, were not things that existed.
But when populations in places like South Florida began to swell beyond what natural resources could sustain, engineers and inventors had to figure out how to create such devices to provide enough drinking water for all.
Since about 60 percent of a human is comprised of water, it plays a crucial role in many bodily functions including regulating temperature, transporting nutrients, and removing waste, running out was not an option as the population in places such as South Florida swelled from hundreds to thousands to millions of people.
Other water managers focused on water conservation by usuing modern-day devices such as shower heads that use less water and hoses that shut off by themselves when not in use.
More innovation is needed as the state's population continues to grow, so the South Florida Water Management District is offering grants to pay up to half the cost to develop alternative water supplies that will help meet the growing demand throughout its 16-county region.
This initiative is part of the State of Florida’s continuing efforts to implement cost-effective strategies to conserve its precious water resources while meeting the state's water needs.
Local governments, public and private water providers, and others in charge of alternative water supply and water conservation projects, can apply for the money.
Some previous ideas that were granted money and are now part of Florida’s water-saving practices include reclaimed water plants with dedicated pipes to distribute it to users and better irrigation nozzles for agricultural operations.
To be eligible, local governments must have adopted an irrigation ordinance approved by the water district and approved water work plans. The deadline to apply is February 26, 2024, at 4 p.m.
Informational webinars will be held at 1 p.m. on Jan. 10 and at 10 a.m. on Jan. 25. For more information, click here.
“The SFWMD is committed to supporting the development of alternative water supply projects to supplement our limited underground water resources and address future demands,” the agency wrote in a press release. “By identifying opportunities for water conservation and developing alternative water sources, we can diversify our water supply and reduce the demand on freshwater resources.”
A previous WGCU.org story on Florida’s water allocation found it is complicated by the competing needs of residents, agriculture, government, businesses, the environment, and the community as a whole.
But Southwest Florida has an interconnected cadre of professional water managers at every level of government, longstanding plans for region-wide sharing of drinking water, and independent consultants with decades of experience routinely brought in to review it all.
And conservation measures are key.
Environmental reporting for WGCU is funded in part by VoLo Foundation, a non-profit with a mission to accelerate change and global impact by supporting science-based climate solutions, enhancing education, and improving health.
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