Broward County, Florida, is considering a plan to reduce a growing demand on Everglades water by replenishing groundwater with treated sewage. The plan is generating outcry from environmentalists who worry the sewage won't be treated enough.
"County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs and a group of environmentalists are protesting the plan, saying it would pollute canals with nitrogen and phosphorus, ruin wildlife habitat and destroy fishing spots. They say the county should pay to better clean the sewage so it could be discharged into the canals without impairing water quality."
As the region grows, the reliance on groundwater sources for drinking water increases rapidly.
"'The future growth of Broward County can no longer be fed by Everglades water,' said John Mulliken, water supply planning director for the South Florida Water Management District, which issues water-consumption permits. 'There will be no more allocations of water that would have a direct or indirect impact on the Everglades.'"
"Most Florida counties reuse a large percentage of their water, using treated wastewater to irrigate lawns and golf courses. But Broward County, which urbanized before conservation was considered important, reuses only 5 percent of its water."