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Water Use Permit Applicants

Did you know that scheduling a meeting with SFWMD permit application review staff before submitting an application is free, saves time and could result in quicker permit processing time? Project specifics will be discussed during the meeting, and staff will answer questions and inform applicants what information is required to be submitted in order to complete the application process.
To schedule a meeting, please contact us by email at or call (561) 682-2795.

Consumptive Water Use Permits

A consumptive water use permit allows the holder to withdraw a specified amount of water from the ground (aquifers) or a canal, lake or river (surface water) for reasonable-beneficial uses. The water can be used for public supply (drinking water), agricultural and nursery plant irrigation, golf course irrigation, commercial use, dewatering/mining activities and power. Water uses not covered by these permits include domestic uses, home irrigation and water used for fire fighting.

Consumptive water use permits require water conservation to prevent wasteful uses, such as the reuse of reclaimed water (treated wastewater). The permits also set limits on how much water can be withdrawn at each location in the aquifer or from surface water. These limits protect existing residents' water supplies and protect aquifers from saltwater intrusion damage, and surface water sources from drying up.

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Once a consumptive water use permit is issued by the District, SFWMD water use compliance staff monitor the use of water to make sure the permit's limiting conditions are met. Scientists and environmental analysts evaluate pumpage and monitoring data (chlorides, water levels, turbidity, etc.), and other compliance reports such as calibrations, wetland monitoring, unaccounted for water loss and ten-year compliance, and respond to instances of non-compliance. On-location site inspections also help determine compliance and document project activities, withdrawal facilities, and unpermitted uses of water.

On-Line Reporting Available

Water use compliance reports can be submitted online at Create an ePermitting account, or login if you already have an account, and click on 'Water Use' under 'Compliance Reporting' to get started.


Types of Consumptive Water Use Permits

The South Florida Water Management District issues general and individual consumptive water use permits. Issues addressed during the application evaluation process are:

  • Is the proposed use reasonable and beneficial as defined in Section 373.019 of the Florida Statutes?
  • Will it interfere with other water users in the vicinity?
  • Is it consistent with the public interest (including harm to the environment, saltwater intrusion, wetlands, movement of pollution, etc.)?

Consumptive water use permits are issued for a fixed period of time, and must be renewed prior to the expiration date in order to continue using water.

Water Use Permitting and Compliance Forms 

Water Use Permitting Fees

Fee amounts shall apply to applications for new permits, permit modifications, and permit renewals, except as noted. [PDF]

Permit Submittal Locations
Map of the sixteen counties in the South Florida Water Management District. Click your area on map for permit submittal locations. Details shown on the right.Palm Beach CountyMartin CountyHendry CountyGlades CountyCharlotte CountyHighlands CountyOkeechobee CountyPolk CountyOsceola CountySt. Lucie CountyCollier CountyBroward CountyMiami-Dade CountyMonroe CountyOrange CountyLee County
Click your area on map for permit submittal locations.
Details shown below.
 Palm Beach
 St. Lucie

Monthly Regulatory Meetings
Changes in the Permit Review Process
A 2009 amendment to Chapter 373 of the Florida Statutes delegates to executive directors at the state's five water management districts the authority to approve permit applications related to water resources and the environment. To ensure continuing public involvement, the South Florida Water Management District is strengthening its commitment to transparency and open government by increasing public access to its permitting process via Monthly Regulatory Meetings held for the public.
All meetings start at 10 a.m. at SFWMD Headquarters in the B-1 Auditorium.
Public Meetings Archive (2009 - 2015) »  
If you wish to participate in Public Meetings to discuss Regulatory Matters but cannot attend them in West Palm Beach, you can interact and provide comments during video-conferences at these service centers.

Meetings will also be webcast. You may also send comments to the District about applications for Consumptive Use Permits and Environmental Resource Permits through ePermitting.
Written comments can be mailed to:
South Florida Water Management District
Regulation - MSC 9610
3301 Gun Club Road
West Palm Beach, FL 33406

Virg Cruz
(561) 682-6926

Video  Audio  Documents   

In the News


Related Permitting Contacts
Permitting (General)
Permit Transfers
Water Use Permitting
Water Use Compliance
Year-Round Rule – Alternative Irrigation Schedule Requests

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SFWMD Headquarters: 3301 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach, Florida 33406
561-686-8800 | 1-800-432-2045 (Florida Only)