Forecasting Water Demands in South Florida in the Context of Everglades Restoration: Retrospective

Richard Weisskoff, Michael C. Sukop, Huong Nguyen, Katie Glodzik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Traditional economic forecasts had consistently underestimated the hypergrowth of South Florida and its need for freshwater from the 1970s through the 1990s. It was hypothesized that the continued rapid growth of urban and farm water use into the 2000-2030 period would undermine efforts to restore the Everglades. To test this hypothesis, the corresponding author had hybridized two widely used regional economic modeling tools: the static, single-period Impact Analysis for Planning (IMPLAN); and the dynamic multiperiod Regional Economic Modeling Inc. (REMI) to forecast population and water use for the period from 2010-2030. In the present paper, these early forecasts are compared to actual census and water use counts for 2010 and 2015. Some of these early forecasts are found to be surprisingly accurate while others seriously overshoot the mark. The on-target forecasts validate the basic hybrid model while the other "deviant"forecasts measure the success of the radical antidrought policies and the region's economic reaction to the financial collapse. This retrospective provides a new metric for measuring actual changes in the paradigm of water consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04020081
JournalJournal of Water Resources Planning and Management
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • Everglades restoration
  • Population projections
  • Regional economic models
  • South Florida
  • Water conservation metric
  • Water demand forecasting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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