Florida's Disappearing Aquifers
IS PHOSPHATE MORE VALUABLE THAN FLORIDA’S AQUIFERS?
LOOK! Southwest Central Florida’s springs, rivers, and the old swimming hole are being destroyed! The southwest central Florida area is located over one of the largest phosphate deposits on the North American continent!
Is Florida phosphate more valuable than Florida watersheds and aquifers? Florida politics and a phosphate industry has shown it is!
…”In 2000, ($1,130,000,000) or $1.13 billion dollars worth of phosphate based fertilizer was exported from Florida making it another one of Florida’s leading export commodities”, says the Department of Environmental Protection Services.
Today this southwest central Florida region is known simply as, “Bone Valley. The southwest central Florida Phosphate District is shown in (Fig. 1) above.
What is destroying southwest central Florida’s natural springs, localized aquifers, and the old swimming hole like no other?
Take a closer look at what you can see from satellite, (Fig. 1). As you look at the Google Map, you see a large land area, about (30) thirty miles east of the Tampa Bay Area, in the peninsula of Florida. You can see numerous, very large man made square or rectangular shaped holes shown in blue and filled with fresh water from the newly crushed aquifers.
These square blue holes are distinguishable from Florida’s beautiful natural blue lakes and ponds in this area. These giant square blue holes are man made craters. These craters are made by phosphate draglines digging for phosphate, down a hundred feet. They dig through Florida’s natural water supply in the form of underground water tables or “aquifers”. Some Florida phosphate strip mines scar the earth a full square mile.
Florida’s aquifer systems took nature millennia to perfect and many are now totally destroyed. How and why is this happening?
Valuable phosphate is removed which leaves huge blue holes as seen from space. The beautiful big blue holes are ten’s of thousands of acres of phosphate strip mines. The blue hole are created where the local natural aquifers are being completely destroyed.
Draglines are so large and numerous, mining thousands of acres of overburden is just a months work. Draglines mine down a hundred feet, penetrating, cutting through, crushing and completely removing the natural aquifers. Thus, untold volumes of water no longer contained by the aquifers are free to fill strip mines in the southwest central Florida earth.