On October 2 through 4, 2014, Monticello hosted the Sharing Water Conference. Legislators, geologists, legal experts, water managers, and farmers met to discuss the future of the Floridan aquifer. Extending from South Carolina to Orlando, the Floridan is not only large, but has been well protected by its geology, housing what is considered to be clean water. But both the quantity and quality of water are being threatened by water consumption and runoff. The goal of the conference is to discuss solutions to these problems.
Some of the largest consumers of water, as well as potential sources for nutrient rich runoff, are farms. We look at how SimpsonÃ¢€™s Nursery, a 1,200-acre operation in in Monticello, uses reclaimed water to offset its withdrawals from the aquifer and keep nutrient rich effluent from out of our groundwater. Turkey Hill Farm (Tallahassee) and Full Earth Farm (Quincy) are small organic farms that look to reduce runoff by creating compost that keeps nutrients in soil and out of waterways.