Developing an Alternative Water Supply Strategy for the City of Plantation, Florida

Authors:

  • Courtney Skinner, Hazen and Sawyer, P.C.
  • Michael Wengrenovich, Hazen and Sawyer, P.C.
  • Hank Breitenkam, City of Plantation

The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) has determined that traditional water supply sources will not be sufficient to meet the demands of a growing population and needs of the environment, agriculture and industry over the next twenty years. Significant changes were made to the Florida Statutes (F.S.) in 2005 to improve coordination of water supply and land use planning. Senate Bills 360 and 444 that followed served strengthen the linkage between the regional water supply plans prepared by the water management districts and comprehensive plans prepared by the local governments. Consequently, the City of Plantation and other utilities within the Lower East Coast (LEC) Planning Area must prepare and submit a 10-year water facilities work plan as a part of the local government’s comprehensive plan amendments in order to comply with the current provisions of Chapter 163, F.S. and the Florida Department of Community Affairs (DCA).

The Lower East Coast Water Supply Plan 2005-2006 Update was approved by the SFWMD in February 2007 and encouraged development of alternative water supply projects in the wake of uncertainty concerning the availability of water from the regional system. Accordingly, the SFWMD also adopted the Regional Water Availability Rule (RWAR) in February 2007 limiting the amount of water that can be withdrawn from the Biscayne Aquifer for future water supply. The requirements contained in the Regional Water Availability Rule state that future withdrawals from the Biscayne Aquifer may not exceed the maximum quantity of water withdrawn during any consecutive twelve month period during the five years preceding April 1, 2006. Based on restrictions identified in the Regional Water Availability Rule, the City of Plantation raw water allowance from the Biscayne Aquifer is capped at 17.4 mgd annual average daily flow (AADF). Therefore, the development of alternative water sources is critical for the City of Plantation and other communities within the LEC Planning Area to ensure adequate water supply to satisfy growing demands.

The City of Plantation has examined several options to address water supply needs over the next ten and twenty-year planning periods. Several alternative water supply projects were considered in this analysis to address the water deficit, or demand-not-met for the year 2018 for developing the 10-year water supply facilities work plan. Projects that were investigated include developing the brackish Floridan Aquifer through the use of reverse osmosis treatment (RO), enacting water conservation program(s), providing for surface water (canal) recharge through the use of advanced wastewater treatment (AWT), and supplying local golf courses with reclaimed water through the use of tertiary treatment (high level disinfection standards). The intent of this paper is to examine each of the alternative water supply projects (as well as combinations) in the context of feasibility and associated cost / energy consumption in order to arrive at a recommendation for the project best suited for implementation at the City of Plantation.

For a copy of the full paper, please contact the author at cskinner@hazenandsawyer.com

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