16 Nov 2022


Florida's Ground Water: Legal Problems in Managing a Precious Resource

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Academic level: College

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Water is regarded as the most valuable resource in Florida, serving millions of people in domestic and industrial settings. Maloney and Plager (1966) address this observation by highlighting geological evidence showing the presence of water aquifers, thus laying the foundation for the study question; to establish legal challenges to maintaining groundwater sustainability in Florida. The paper recognizes the fact that strategies such as flood control, water supply, and environmental conservation face numerous legal hurdles in implementation. Therefore, it reinforces the need to identify and address such obstacles if the sustainability of groundwater is to be realized. The paper's relevance to sustainability is also emphasized through the identification of issues of contention when dealing with underground water such as interference between wells, the legal classification of underground water, rights in relation to competing use and obstruction, and relief for interference with groundwater rights (Maloney & Plager, 1966). Though published several decades ago, this paper remains relevant in the context based on existing evidence that the reducing volume of surface water in Central and South Florida has raised dependence on groundwater. The article, which was based on existing evidence of underground water distributed across Florida, employs a review of secondary sources to establish key legal issues in the management of the invaluable resource. Maloney and Plager employed reports by government and private agencies on water aquifers, legislations, legal documents, and relevant court cases to lay the basis for the identification of legal problems that are detrimental to sustainability efforts in groundwater management. The qualitative study employed a thematic analysis in its review of secondary data sources, a plausible approach to correlating data into manageable sets to establish recurring themes. The evident pressure exerted on groundwater in Florida, compounded by pollution and saltwater intrusion, is a source of conflicts among stakeholders. This led the researchers to conclude that the identification of legal challenges was necessary as they foresaw the eventual formation of regulatory districts for the management of Florida water resources on a statewide basis. The conclusion to the article had critical implications for water resources management authorities in Florida, as the prediction of the need for regulatory bodies came to pass.


Maloney, F. E., & Plager, S. J. (1966). Florida's ground water: Legal problems in managing a precious resource.  U. Miami L. Rev. 21 , 751.

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 15). Florida's Ground Water: Legal Problems in Managing a Precious Resource.


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