The Greenfield Notebook

UF Miami-Dade County Extension serving Ornamental Production Industry

What do Floridians think about water issues? February 19, 2013

Although water is one of Florida’s most abundant resources, groundwater resources are being depleted by population growth, development and business and agricultural needs of the state. Residents and UF/IFAS Center for Public issues education (PIE Center) stakeholders routinely identify water as one of the most pressing issues in the state, according to PIE Center Director Tracy Irani, so water was the logical topic for launching the ambitious research series.

“Even though we are surrounded by water on all three sides, we’re finding that in this state, water is a resource to be concerned about,” Irani said. “There’s a greater and greater understanding that this resource needs to be conserved and that individual citizens have a role to play in that.”

Alexa Lamm, assistant professor of public opinion analysis in the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication., developed and distributed an online survey in late 2012 to a panel of Florida residents demographically representative of the state based on 2010 Census results.

When asked to rank where water was most needed, state residents left their landscaping at the bottom of the list; 60.7 percent of surveyed citizens said having enough water for household landscaping was either highly or extremely important.

Agriculture held the highest need for plentiful water, with 88.6 percent of respondents saying it was extremely or highly important. Recreation followed at 86.1 percent and golf courses at almost 84.8 percent. Commerce and industry ranked ahead of landscaping, as did freshwater resources and cities.

“People are more concerned with recreation activities and golf courses than they are with their own personal household landscapes,” Lamm said. “Water conservation efforts have been occurring and more people are more aware that their landscape doesn’t need as much water as they once thought.”

When compared to the needs of cities, commerce and recreation, Lamm speculated that Floridians seemed to be sacrificing their gardens for the greater good of the state.

Source: UF/IFAS Center for Public Education (PIE)

If you want to read more about Public opinions of water in Florida :Click here for Water Summary

Upcoming Class on Water BMP for nurseries : UF/IFAS Extension working in Miami-Dade County is working on a very first hands on field day on irrigation for commercial growers! Early registration ends this Friday 22: Online Flyer and Registration link

Until next time,

Vanessa Campoverde

 

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