RS&H developed a concept plan to utilize a 13.4-acre stormwater pond (Northeast Pond) at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport to irrigate a 31.6-acre greenbelt as well as other landscape areas throughout the terminal.
The greenbelt is a linear park with multi-use paths, benches and picnic tables forming a buffer at the airport’s southern border. It is a popular spot for plane-spotting. As concern grows about salinization of groundwater, and the increasing cost and unsustainability of using potable water for irrigation, RS&H helped the airport evaluate rainwater harvesting at the Northeast Pond as an alternative water source.
RS&H evaluated surface and groundwater quality sampling at the Northeast Pond and investigated the existing South Florida Water Management District Water Use Permit. RS&H determined that drawing water from the pond would not affect water quality and recommended a permit modification that would allow repurposing excess capacity to the greenbelt and the terminal area.
RS&H estimated the cost of infrastructure and estimated potential returns on investment with and without concurrent investment in irrigation efficiency improvements at the greenbelt. Results indicate a payback period of between two to six years while saving about 15 million gallons of potable water annually.