Water conservation survey of Miami-Dade county gricultural and golf course commercial water users

Rafael Munoz-Carpena, Jonathan H. Crane, Glenn D. Israel, Charles Yurgalevitch

Abstract


Water use, management, and quality are major issues in south Florida's Miami-Dade County where periods of flooding and drought are experienced occasionally. Agricultural practices (e.g., irrigation and fertilizer management) potentially affect the water quality of the Biscayne Aquifer in the environmentally sensitive agricultural area adjacent to Everglades and Biscayne National Parks. However, water conservation practices by the Miami-Dade County agricultural community and golf courses are largely undocumented. The University of Florida is undertaking extension and research programs in Miami-Dade County to help the agricultural community conserve water, deal with flooding and drought, and improve irrigation and fertilizer management. A comprehensive survey of water conservation practices across commodity groups (e.g., vegetables, tropical fruits, ornamental nurseries, and golf courses) was conducted in 2002 to help identify the practices these users adopted to conserve and protect their water supply. The approach was to quantify the existing water management and irrigation practices and motivations for their adoption. A random sample of over 600 agricultural and golf course water users in Miami-Dade County were asked to respond to a questionnaire about their current water-use practices. The overall number of respondents was 27%. Results generally showed an increase in water conservation practices during the last 20 years, although there still remain educational challenges to optimize water use while protecting the environment. The results and analysis of this water- use survey will be used in planning water-related extension and research programs for the community.

Keywords


drought; flooding; fruit crops; golf courses; irrigation; nursery crops; soil moisture monitoring; vegetable crops; water conservation

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283