Florida Governor Rick Scott on Tuesday announced plans to phase in caps on water usage by water providers in the state by 2023, a move that will lead to reductions in water usage in a state that relies heavily on its water system for drinking, heating and cooking.
Scott’s plan would eliminate water usage limits for residential and business water systems, as well as eliminate limits for municipal water systems.
The governor’s plan is part of a statewide plan to reduce the use of water in Florida by at least 80 percent by 2027, according to a report by the Florida Water Management Agency released on Tuesday.
Statewide, the total amount of water used for human needs would drop from nearly 8.6 billion gallons a day to 8.4 billion gallons.
Currently, about 30 percent of water users in the Sunshine State use less than 4 percent of the state’s water supply.
A portion of the savings could be made up by a reduction in the amount of wastewater that is pumped from wells, and a decrease in the rate at which water is sent to the coast, Scott said.
Scott said the savings from the elimination of water usage cap would be used to pay for a variety of projects that would reduce water use.
Water usage would be reduced by about 7 percent at the pumps for large, deep wells, by about 2 percent at small wells, about 5 percent at medium-sized wells and about 8 percent at smaller wells, he said.
The state would also reduce its rate of the sale of drinking water by about 5 cents per thousand gallons.
Water bills would also be reduced.
In Florida, residential customers use less water than those in other states that require them to pay additional fees to use water.
In New Jersey, for example, residential water use is capped at 3.3 gallons a person per day.
In Texas, the average residential water bill is $2.15 per person per year.