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Water Conservation Plans & Initiatives

Water Use Efficiency Plan

We’re not just asking you to conserve water. Through the Water Use Efficiency Plan, Miami-Dade County is implementing various programs to make water use more efficient, through alternative water supplies, reuse water projects and the water conservation program. Water availability is crucial to keep up with the County’s current and future residents.

In April 2006, the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners adopted the Miami-Dade Water Use Efficiency Plan though resolution R-468. The plan is part of a bigger effort to improve management of traditional water supplies while encouraging the development of alternative water supplies and improving the efficiency of our current water use.

Several incentive programs have been implemented to encourage the efficient use of water and help residents save money. They include: plumbing retrofits, landscape irrigation evaluations and residential and commercial water use evaluations and rebates.

Miami-Dade residents are reducing their water use which has contributed to an unprecented drop in consumption. Based on these efforts, Miami-Dade County is currently experiencing actual finished water demands of 20 million gallons per day, which is lower than the 2006 actual demands (the year prior to the implementation of the Water Use Efficiency Plan).

The lower demand is the result of lower-than-projected population growth, permanent landscape irrigation restrictions, water loss reduction and the success of the water conservation initiatives and best management practices that have been implemented.

As a result of the lower-than-projected demand, the Miami-Dade Water & Sewer Department re-evaluated the County's water use projections and has adjusted the schedule of capital water supply projects. This collective awareness has allowed for the per capita use to drop from 158 to 141 gallons per person per day during the same period of time.

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Water Loss Reduction Plan

By supplying water in a sustainable manner and reducing and controlling losses, the recovered losses become a major alternative source of water that will save more money than developing expensive new water supplies. 

Miami-Dade County has an aggressive water loss reduction program and it has currently enhanced this program as part of the 20-Year Water Use Permit. Through this aggressive program, Miami-Dade will be able to save more than 14.25 million gallons of water per day by 2017.

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20-Year Water Use Permit

Miami-Dade County's Water Use Efficiency Plan is tailored to meet the South Florida Water Management District requirements for WASD's consumptive use permit -- the 20-Year Water Use Permit -- first approved by the district in November 2007.

This will allow us to achieve an improvement in water use efficiency through:

  • Accommodating future economic development and population growth while protecting our water resources;
  • Reducing or deferring the cost of maintaining and expanding water delivery, treatment and disposal systems;
  • Reducing energy and maintenance costs of Water and Sewer Department facilities.

Visit the Water and Sewer Department site to read more about the 20-Year Water Use Permit.

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Alternative Water Supply

During the 2005 State Legislative Session, a bill creating the Water Protection and Sustainability Program, or SB 444, was enacted, providing significant state funding for Alternative Water Supply Projects that are identified in the Water Management Districts' Regional Water Supply Plans.

Alternative Water Supply Projects are defined as:

  • saltwater and brackish water
  • surface water captured predominately during wet-weather flows 
  • sources made available through the addition of new storage capacity 
  • reclaimed water 
  • stormwater (for use by a consumptive use permittee) 
  • any other source designated as nontraditional in a regional water supply plan

Water Reuse

Water reuse plays an important role in water resource, wastewater, and ecosystem management in Florida. It reduces demands on valuable surface and ground water, sources used for drinking water. Reclaimed water also reduces discharges to surface waters, recharges ground water, and postpones costly investment for development of new water sources and supplies. Water reuse has allowed some communities to continue to grow where the availability of historically used freshwater sources has become extremely limited.

Water reuse involves taking domestic wastewater, giving it a high degree of treatment, and using the resulting high-quality reclaimed water for a new, beneficial purpose. The resulting water is called reclaimed water. Extensive treatment and disinfection ensure that public health and environmental quality are protected. Reclaimed water can be used for many purposes including:

  • Irrigation of golf courses, parks, residential properties, highway medians, and other landscaped areas
  • Urban uses such as toilet flushing, car washing, dust control, and aesthetic purposes (i.e. decorative lakes, ponds, and fountains)
  • Agricultural uses such as irrigation of edible food crops such as, citrus, corn, and soybeans; other crops such as, pasture lands, grasslands, and other feed and fodder crops; and irrigation at nurseries
  • Wetlands creation, restoration, and enhancement
  • Recharging ground water with the use of rapid infiltration basins (percolation ponds), absorption fields, and direct injection to ground waters
  • Augmentation of surface waters that are used for drinking water supplies
  • Industrial uses including plant wash down, processing water, and cooling water purposes

Continuous monitoring of the reclaimed water is required and ensures excellent water quality for protection of the public and the environment. The Florida Department of Health has stated a reuse facility designed, constructed, and operated in accordance with applicable rules poses no threat to public health. The use of reclaimed water has increased significantly throughout the nation, state, and district for all types of uses.

Aquifer Storage Recovery (ASR)

Aquifer Storage Recovery (ASR) is defined as the storage of freshwater in an aquifer by injecting water through the wells during wet periods for subsequent retrieval from these same wells during dry periods.  The freshwater forms a bubble of injected water within the aquifer around the ASR well, and it can be retrieved when needed to meet seasonal, long-term, emergency or other demands.  During the past ten years, ASR technology has evolved from merely a concept to a proven, cost-effective and environmentally desirable water management tool.

Reverse Osmosis (RO)

Reverse osmosis is a process used to purify concentrated solutions of dissolved minerals and salts. Reverse osmosis involves forcing water through a semipermeable membrane under high pressure, leaving the dissolved salts and other solutes behind on the surface of the membrane.

Satellite Reuse

Wastewater is extracted from sewage and then treat it to produce.

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Page Last Edited: Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:08:17 PM

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