Miami-Dade County to Rely on Alternative Water Sources

The South Florida Water Management District announced has renewed, with modifications, the water use permit for Miami-Dade County Water and Sewer Department (MDWASD), the largest public water supply permit in Florida.

The 20-year permit is structured to meet the water needs of Miami-Dade's growing population, which is projected to reach 2.7 million residents by 2027, officials said. The permit's key feature is increased reliance on alternative water supply sources to serve that growth.

"Miami-Dade has successfully stepped up their water resource and infrastructure planning to meet population growth, at the same time providing protection to the nearby Everglades," said Eric Buermann, South Florida Water Management District governing board chairman. "Alternative water supply is indeed the key to South Florida’s future."

To meet water needs in Florida's most populous county, the water and sewer department developed an alternative water supply plan that identifies specific projects to be constructed and implemented in phases to meet projected growth. Major features include use of brackish water from the Floridian Aquifer, recycled water for irrigation of green spaces and highly treated recycled water for groundwater recharge. In addition, recycled water will be used for rehydration of Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands under the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP).

All increased demands that might impact Everglades water supplies will now be met through specified recharge projects, such as the South Miami Heights and West Central Miami ground water recharge. Over the life of the permit, the plan calls for approximately 170 million gallons per day of projects that use recycled water.

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