Florida should explore desalination options, expert says
Florida needs to focus on desalination and invest in projects that could turn seawater into freshwater as it is facing a serious water scarcity problem, according to the state's Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.
So far Florida has emphasized reuse and conservation of water, but this may not be enough, he stated in a recent editorial written for the Tampa Bay Times.
Putnam explained that in periods of drought such measures will be of limited use and claimed that state officials should look for "drought-proof" solutions like desalination. He also recommended alternative measures, such as storage of water for underground recharge, adding that private landowners should be offered incentive packages to take part in such projects.
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An earlier study by Florida's Department of Environmental Protection confirmed that the state needs a wider range of water management solutions. Florida is expected to become the third most populated state this year, which means that over the coming years demand for water will continue to grow. In fact, it is predicted to increase by more than 25 percent by 2025, reaching about 8.7 billion gallons per day. Florida is unable to meet its future demand for water by developing traditional ground and surface water sources. Currently, the state makes very little use of seawater and this source could be further developed and utilized, the study pointed out.