The answer to Ocala’s water sustainability problem was right under its feet; 1291 feet, to be exact. The solution to finding an alternative water supply for the north central Florida city of 55,000 lay at the bottom of a well drilled 1291 feet into the Lower Floridan Aquifer. Ocala’s response to the charge from the St. John’s River
Water Management District, to find an alternative water supply, was by no means the path of least resistance. Options such as desalination or pulling surface water out of a nearby river, while more conventional and predictable, presented numerous economic and environmental challenges. Drilling an exploratory well
was risky and provided no assurance of success. Time, however, was not on Ocala’s side. The importance and urgency of the situation demanded a different approach.