Regional Water Supply Planning
In 1998, the water management districts prepared water supply assessments to determine the existing and future water needs and evaluate the adequacy of existing and potential sources to meet the reasonable-beneficial needs for the next 20 years. For those areas where the sources were determined not to be adequate to meet the future needs, the districts were required to prepare regional water supply plans. The Suwannee River Water Management Districtís (SRWMD ) water supply assessment concluded that supplies were adequate to meet the 2020 needs. Periodically, the SRWMD will re-evaluate their needs and supplies. The Northwest Florida, St. Johns River, South Florida and Southwest Florida Water Management Districts determined that sources were not adequate to meet all these future needs while sustaining the natural resources. By August 2001, these four districts completed regional water supply plans.
The regional water supply plans identified water resource development and water supply development options that could meet the projected reasonable-beneficial needs. Some of the water supply sources identified in the water supply plans include further development of fresh ground water and surface water, demineralization of brackish ground water, desalination of seawater, reuse of reclaimed water, and water conservation. The Districts are also investigating the possibility of increasing water storage capabilities through surface reservoirs and aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) facilities. Three of the Districts are evaluating the feasibility of recharging the aquifer by using stormwater runoff and reclaimed water. Currently, the water management districts are preparing the five-year updates of their regional water supply plans.
Each year the districts are required to prepare a Five-Year Water Resource Development Work Program that describes implementation strategies for the water resource development component of regional water supply plans.
The Office of Water Policy provides guidance to the districts as they develop their regional water supply plans. We also coordinate reviews of these documents with other sections of the DEP. Each year the Department prepares a status reports which provides a summary of efforts toward implementing regional water supply plans.
Last updated: February 20, 2014