Groundwater depletion isn’t an issue only in dry places.
Greg Allen of NPR has a fascinating report on Florida’s water issues, focusing on the formerly glorious Silver Springs, now much diminished and rather more greenish than silver.
Florida’s endangered springs are a symptom of a larger problem. With development and wells sunk for everything from golf courses to bottled water plants, Florida’s aquifer is being depleted.
In some areas, the aquifer — which most Floridians rely on for drinking water — has dropped by 60 feet. Some coastal communities are now getting saltwater in their wells, which costs millions to treat.
The most visible consequence of excessive pumping from the aquifer may be Florida’s epidemic of sinkholes, including a massive one near Tampa recently that claimed a man’s life.
Worth a second thought is this:
A dozen years ago, alarm over the decline of Florida’s springs drew the attention of political leaders in Tallahassee. Then-Gov. Jeb Bush launched an initiative to save the 1,000-plus springs throughout the state. That program was defunded last year by Florida’s current governor, Rick Scott.