In 2012, the Florida Legislature mandated that the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), Office of Agricultural Water Policy, promote an agricultural water-conservation program that would include a cost-share program and best management practices and that would aid the five water management districts in the development of consistent agricultural water-supply planning, assisting the districts in projecting future agricultural water needs and promoting consistency in water-use estimates among the districts. Beginning in 2013, the FDACS created a series of agriculture and irrigated land-use maps for all Florida counties for the purpose of estimating current and forecasting future water demands. These maps, produced and updated periodically by The Balmoral Group, were based on baseline data from 2010 and have been updated with a combination of satellite images and land-use data from water management districts in subsequent years (2013–21) to help create a statewide database of irrigated agricultural lands. The purpose of this multiyear cooperative study between the U.S. Geological Survey and the FDACS is to provide (1) a detailed geospatial database of verified irrigated field locations with selected attributes as ArcGIS shapefiles and (2) aggregated acreage totals by crop type for all or parts of 55 of the 67 counties within Florida. Ten of the remaining 12 counties were fully mapped by the St. John’s River Water Management District in 2015; the other 2 counties were not mapped because they contained very little irrigated agricultural land. Irrigated agricultural fields identified on The Balmoral Group baseline maps for each of the 55 counties were either physically observed by U.S. Geological Survey or were verified through water management district’s consumptive water-use permit database. A select group of counties were chosen to be field verified each year, concluding with a total of 55 counties in Florida field verified between October 2013 and August 2021. The results provided from this multiyear study can help increase the accuracy of irrigation water-use estimates for counties in Florida.
|Title||Verification of irrigated agricultural land acreage in 55 counties in Florida, 2013–21|
|Authors||Richard L. Marella, Joann F. Dixon|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Scientific Investigations Report|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Caribbean-Florida Water Science Center|