Monday, 31 January 2011

St Johns River Could Replace Florida's Aquifer, But at What Cost?

The St. Johns River has been under considerable stress from its human neighbors for decades. The number of inhabitants in its basin, as well as in Florida in general, is expected to rise significantly over the course of the next decade. As such, it has been projected that the Florida aquifer will be unable to support the Florida population one it reaches its critical tipping-point, which isn't far away. To maintain a sustainable water table, proposals have been made to use 155,000,000 gallons of the St. Johns River per day, and another 100,000,000 gallons from the Ocklawaha River (its largest tributary).
It sounds like a tremendous amount of water (over 250,000,000 gallons) but to put it in perspective, over 2 billion gallons of water flow through the river every day. Certain locales have permission to pump out a negligible amount. Seminole County for example can pump 5 million gallons a day. Though 250 million is considerably less than 2 billion, it accounts for roughly an eighth of the water's daily flow. According to the general understanding of proportion, that's certainly far from negligible.
Just how far it is from negligibility from an ecological standpoint is another question. If indeed an eighth of the water's flow was being pumped out of it every day, it stands to reason that the overall water level will fall by roughly 12.5% (an eighth). Granted, some other factors can come into play, but an eighth less water is an eighth less water.
The possible threat to the ecosystem caused the interest group the St Johns Riverkeeper to lobby for the river to be placed on the list of 10 most endangered rivers in the US. The St. Johns earned the number 6 spot because of the condition of its waters as well as the looming threat of its inclusion in water consumption.
Residents and businesses are already feeling the pinch in the form of watering restrictions and higher utility rates. The political liabilities of the proposed siphoning of water from the St. Johns are potentially disastrous during this election season. Essentially pitting big business against individual interests, this is an issue with far-reaching ramifications for all of northwest Florida.
Whether or not the plan will go through remains to be seen, but the fact of the matter is that the Aquifer is a finite resource, and the water is going to have to start coming from somewhere else before too long.
This article was written by Matthew Jorn and is presented by Mike Davidson Ford Jacksonville. Searching for a Ford Econoline Jacksonville residents know they can trust the Good Guys at Mike Davidson Ford.

Matthew Jorn - EzineArticles Expert Author