WATER RESOURCES

 

Nearly all of the water provided by Water Utility Management is from the Floridan Aquifer System.  The Floridan aquifer system, is a thick sequence of Paleogene carbonate rock which spans an area of about 100,000 square miles (260,000 km2) in the southeastern United States. It underlies parts of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and South Carolina, and the entire state of Florida. The Floridan aquifer system is one of the world’s most productive aquifers and supplies drinking water for nearly 10 million people.  Water Utility Management is committed to compliance with State regulations, and to responsible stewardship of the Floridan Aquifer.
When water is pumped from the aquifer, the water pressure is reduced around the pumping site.  The water table is drawn down at the pumping site, and surrounding water is sucked toward the pump. This area is called a ‘Cone of Depression.’  In areas of high water demand, a cone of depression affects a large surrounding area. Affected areas sometimes span political boundaries, causing conflict between states regarding the sharing of resources. Water demand in Coastal Georgia has contributed to a problem of saltwater intrusion, affecting a few areas in South Carolina.  Historically the Floridan Aquifer discharged a continuous flow of fresh water into the ocean near Hilton Head.  As wells on Hilton Head pumped increasing amounts of water, they created a cone of depression which reversed the flow of water and sucked saltwater into the aquifer.  This flow is likewise influenced by water withdrawals in Coastal Georgia. Both states have been negotiating to manage water withdrawals to protect the aquifer.  Georgia has sought to reduce and manage pumping from the Floridan Aquifer within different geographic management zones near the coast.  To comply with this regulation, WUM has sought to reduce pumping through careful management, conservation education, and through rate structures that reward water conservation.
Is the Earth Running out of Clean Water?

Management of water resources is important worldwide.  Just as American states must work together to share and manage resources, tribes, countries, and nations must do the same worldwide.  As various groups seek to share a resource for which there is no alternative, there is sometimes competition and conflict over water.   Water is surprisingly rare and infinitely valuable.  Despite water covering 71% of the planet’s surface, more than half the world’s population endures extreme water scarcity for at least one month a year. Current estimates predict that by 2040, up to 20 more countries could be experiencing water shortages. These statistics raise a startling question: is the Earth running out of clean water? Balsher Singh Sidhu takes a closer look at water consumption.

[Directed by Kozmonot Animation Studio, narrated by Addison Anderson, music by Deniz Dogancay].