DEVELOPING A FRAMEWORK TO BALANCE NEEDS FOR CONSUMPTIVE USE AND NATURAL SYSTEMS WITH WATER RESOURCE AVAILABILITY – BROWARD COUNTY UTILITY NEEDS ASSESSMENT
Abstract:In order to achieve the regional integration necessary for the effective management of Broward County's water resources, efforts must be made to identify all of the demands and constraints on available long-term supplies. To that end, Broward County's Department of Planning and Environmental Protection (BCDPEP), together with the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) aims to assess all of the functions related to water resource management as part of BCDPEP's Integrated Water Resource Plan (IWRP) including: drainage regulations, aquifer recharge, flood protection, maintenance of groundwater levels for wetlands, abatement of saltwater intrusion and public water supply.
Balancing demands on water resources requires not only the collection and analysis of data, but also the ability to look past individual utility and drainage district boundaries to utilize a regional perspective. At the same time, however, these individual entities must be recognized as stakeholders in the decision-making processes. As such, significant efforts were made toward consensus-building among the stakeholders to allow for the potential implementation of the recommendations identified within the studies.
Broward County aims to move toward establishing a balance amongst all of the demands on the region's water resources to provide long-term supply through the utilization of innovative water resource management strategies and technologies. These studies seek to determine the region's potable water needs and natural systems requirements along with the constraints to meeting those needs. To this aim, these studies involved: the collection of data on consumptive uses and natural system needs within the study area; identification and assessment of constraints (ecological, political, technical, regulatory and financial) to meeting these needs; and analysis of the interconnectivity of potable water utilities and drainage districts within the study area. The end results of these studies are recommendations of modifications and improvements to the structure and management of water resources in the study area to meet long-term needs.
Recommendations were made to BCDPEP and SFWMD to support the implementation and/or use of the following management strategies and technologies to meet long-term needs within the study area: (1) the development of improved interconnections and interlocal bulk sales agreements between the region's utilities; (2) the development of inter-drainage district connections; (3) the incorporation of reclaimed water and canal water for beneficial reuse and recharge programs into water supply programs; (4) the construction of facilities utilizing innovative treatment technologies; (5) the implementation of water conservation plans within the region, (6) the implementation of the respective utility's capital improvement plans, and (7) other various recommendations.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2002
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