Program Overview

Population Growth Drivers, Northeast FloridaVirtually all planning begins with and hinges upon future population forecasts. In today’s highly variable growth climate, it is more imperative than ever to have current, reliable and scientifically defensible population forecasts. Whether you are planning at the local, regional, state, or national levels, or involved with permitting or resource allocation decision making, you can rely upon our extensive experience with population forecasting. GIS Associates staff have been developing population forecasting models for over 20 years, and three of our analysts have masters’ degrees in urban planning and many years of experience with developing forecasts using our GIS-based, small-area projection models. Our models have been thoroughly documented, peer reviewed, and withstood both public and legal challenges.

Model Overview

Our GIS-based models calculate historical growth rates using census and parcel data, and factor in the historic influence of growth drivers such as roads and interchanges, Build-out Unit Density, St. Augustine, Floridaand factor in the historic influence of growth drivers such as roads and interchanges, certain existing commercial uses, existing residential development and surface water. They exclude non-developable lands, including wetlands, conservation areas, inappropriate land uses, road rights-of-way, and areas that are “built out”. These projections are typically distributed to the property parcel level, and then summarized by the client’s desired boundary.

With our custom tools, methods and experienced staff, we can develop small area (property parcel-level) population forecasts efficiently for a city, utility, county, region or even state. The tools in our Population Projection Engine™ enable us to develop these projections efficiently, saving our clients considerable time and money. We can also easily and accurately summarize these property parcel-level projections for any desired set of boundaries (city, utility, TAZ, census tract, zip code, basin, etc.). The ability to deliver a superior product quickly and at an exceptional value has led to a client base that has relied upon our services year after year, including:

  • Southwest Florida Water Management District (including all or part of 16 counties, with summaries for each water utility)
  • St. Johns River Water Management District (including all or part of 18 counties, with summaries for each water utility)
  • Suwannee River Water Management District (including all or part of 15 counties)
  • JEA (formerly Jacksonville Electric Authority, including all or part of 4 counties in northeast Florida)
  • Marion County (Florida)
  • Marion County Utilities Department (Florida)
  • St. Johns County Utilities Department (Florida)
  • City of Fruitland Park (Florida)

GIS Associates Provides:

  • Current estimates and future projections of population by type, including permanent, seasonal, tourist and net commuter.
  • Projections for any time horizon (2040, 2060, etc.) and increment (one year, five years, etc.).
  • In addition to the forecast, optional high and low projections.
  • GIS database of projected population in the desired increments and build-out population at the property parcel level.
  • Aggregation to any desired boundary (municipal, TAZ, utility, etc.).
  • Ability to control parcels to a target, large area projection (such as the county level projections of the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Florida).
  • Outputs in GIS and tabular formats.
  • Expert witness services.
  • Support for projection updates.
  • Optional forecasts of emergency evacuees.
  • Projections of water demand (or other resources whose projections are based on population growth).

For more information regarding population growth forecasting, please contact us.


Featured Projects

Small Area Population Forecasting, JEA

JEA is the second largest water utility in Florida providing potable water to about 720,000 people. GISA updated and implemented a comprehensive, spatial model that projects future population for JEA’s 4-county area at the property parcel level to 2035 in five year increments. The GIS-based model incorporates parcel data, census data, current and future land use/land cover, wetlands, planned developments, transportation infrastructure, utility service area boundaries, etc. GISA used these projections in support of JEA’s Consumptive Use Permit (CUP) Application, including developing water demand projections and providing expert witness services to JEA.

Population Projection Modeling and Demographic Analysis, Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD)

GISA annually updates and implements its comprehensive, spatial model that projects future population for SWFWMD’s 16-county area at the property parcel level to 2035 in five year increments. The GIS-based model incorporates parcel data, census data, current and future land use/land cover, wetlands, planned developments, transportation infrastructure, utility service area boundaries, etc. In addition to permanent population, projections of peak seasonal, functional seasonal, tourist, and net commuter populations were developed. GISA staff present methods and results in public workshops to build consensus for future planning and permitting decisions based on model results. GISA also develops custom demographic and/or parcel-based data products for SWFWMD in support of planning and conservation projects, and provides on-going technical support regarding population and water demand projections submitted to SWFWMD by water utilities as part of the permitting process. Tasks include:

  • Analyzing new data provided by utilities, planners, developers, etc;
  • Revising model inputs or results, and updating projections;
  • Discussing results and recommendations with utilities and planners;
  • Making final recommendations to SWFWMD permit reviewers; and
  • Providing expert witness services, if needed.

Population and Water Demand Projection Modeling and Geospatial/Geostatistical Analysis, St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD)

GISA updated and implemented its comprehensive, spatial model that projects future population and water demand for an 18-county area at the property parcel level to 2035 in five year increments. The GIS-based model incorporates parcel data, census data, current and future land use/land cover, wetlands, planned developments, transportation infrastructure, utility service area boundaries, historic water use data, etc. GISA also developed and implemented methodologies for projecting water demand by category (public supply, domestic self-supply, commercial/industrial/institutional self-supply, recreational self-supply, agricultural self-supply and reclaimed water), as well as applying those projections to groundwater model domains. GISA staff made numerous presentations of model results to various public agencies and utilities to build consensus for future planning and permitting decisions based on model results. Further, GISA assisted with development of SJRWMD’s 2008 Water Supply Assessment, and trained SJRWMD staff in use of model data, permit review methods, water use data updates and quality assurance.

Consumptive (Water) Use Permit Reviews, St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD)

GISA provided reviews and technical support regarding population and water demand projections submitted to SJRWMD by water utilities as part of the permitting process from 2003-2010. Tasks included:

  • Analyzing new data provided by utilities, planners, developers, etc;
  • Incorporating new, plausible data into model and updating projections;
  • Discussing results and recommendations with utilities and planners;
  • Making final recommendations to SJRWMD permit reviewers; and
  • Serving as an expert witness for SJRWMD, when needed.

Population and Water Demand Projection Modeling, Marion County, Florida

GISA updated and implemented its comprehensive, spatial model that projects future population and water demand countywide at the property parcel level in five year increments to 2060 in support of hydraulic modeling, planning and permitting. The GIS-based model incorporates parcel data, census data, current and future land use/land cover, wetlands, planned developments, transportation infrastructure, utility service area boundaries, historic water use data, etc. In addition to permanent population, projections of peak seasonal, functional seasonal, tourist, and net commuter populations were developed. GISA also projected water demand for public supply utilities.


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