Fact Sheet 151-95
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Spechler, R.M., and Schiffer, D.M., 1995, Springs in Florida: U.S.
Geological Survey Fact Sheet FS-151-95, 2 p.
Florida's springs are among the State's most valued natural and scenic
resources. Springs are an important part of Florida's history, dating back
to the days of early Spanish explorers including Ponce de Leon, who came
in 1513 seeking the Fountain of Youth. Archeological evidence indicate
s that Indian villages were located near springs; native Floridians used
the springs for their water supply and fished in the streams formed by the
springs. Many of Florida's springs are tourist attractions; the best known
is Silver Springs which has been a location for movie and television
productions. Most of Florida's springs are located in the northern half
of the State (fig. 1). Springs are the surface evidence of a vast
underground water resource, the Floridan aquifer system, which supplies
most of the State's drinking water. The large quantities of water
discharged from Florida springs indicate the large capacity of the
underground aquifer system to store and transmit water.
Springs provide base flow for many of the streams and rivers that are
used for boating, fishing, swimming, scuba diving, and snorkeling. The
nearly constant temperature of spring water creates an ideal habitat
for many plants and animals; one example is the manatee, which seeks
out the warmer waters of spring runs during cooler winter months.
The 320 known springs in the State discharge about 12,300 cubic feet
per second (ft3/s) or nearly 8 billion gallons per day. This exceeds
the 7.5 billion gallons per day of freshwater used in the State (from
ground-water and surface-water sources) for public supply, agricultural,
industrial, domestic, and thermoelectric power purposes in 1990.