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U.S. Department of the Interior
US Geological Survey
USGS OFR 70-188

Preliminary Evaluation of Availability of Potable Water on Elliott Key, Dade County, Florida


H. Klein

map showing the location and configuration of Elliott Key
Figure 1. Map showing the location and configuration of Elliott Key. [larger image]
The National Park Service is presently arranging for the purchase of Elliott Key and adjacent smaller keys in the upper Florida Keys, southeast of Miami (fig. 1), for the proposed Biscayne National Monument. Facilities available to the general public will include swimming, boating, fishing, camping, hiking, and other recreational activities. A supply of fresh water will be required. This report describes the results of a reconnaissance on the availability of potable ground water in Elliott Key.

Elliott Key is a 7-mile long island east of Homestead. Its maximum width is about 2,500 feet near the north end and its average width is less than 2,000 feet. The higher elevations on the island range from 6 to 8 feet above sea level and occur generally along an unimproved road that runs longitudinally through the center of the island. The average elevation is about 3 feet above sea level and those areas which exceed 5 feet above sea level are shown in figure 1.

Rainfall records for Elliott Key are not available but the distribution and amount of rainfall should be similar to those recorded on Miami Beach rather than those recorded on the mainland. A comparison of the average monthly rainfall for Miami Beach and Homestead (mainland) is shown in table 1. Nearly 20 inches more rainfall per year occurs on the mainland than offshore on Miami Beach. Sixty-three percent of the annual rainfall at Miami Beach occurs during June through October.

(The entire report is available below)

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Last updated: 04 September, 2013 @ 02:04 PM(KP)