8.1 million people, plus farms and businesses, use more than 3 billion gallons of water every day in South Florida. By 2035, thousands of new residents are projected to make South Florida their home, increasing demand for fresh water.
At the South Florida Water Management District, we're taking action to address future needs through water supply planning. Ensuring an adequate supply of water to protect, enhance and restore natural systems and to meet all other existing and projected needs is a fundamental element of our mission. The goal of the water supply planning process is to determine the region's water needs and develop sound, workable solutions for those needs.
It's a multiyear process and can't be done in isolation. We work closely with other agencies, local governments and utilities, the agricultural industry, environmental interests and other stakeholders. Public involvement and understanding of agency responsibilities are critical in developing and implementing long-term plans and strategies. We also coordinate with local governments' comprehensive planning and water supply planning to establish a closer link between development decisions and the availability of water.
The District's nearly 18,000-square-mile area is divided into five distinct planning regions: Upper Kissimmee, Lower Kissimmee, Upper East Coast, Lower East Coast and Lower West Coast. Development of comprehensive water supply plans customized to each region is key to identifying and understanding current and future water needs.
Based on a 20-year outlook, these plans provide detailed, basin-specific information and recommended actions. The plans highlight areas where historically used sources of water will not be adequate to meet future demands and evaluate several water source options – including water conservation and alternative water supply – to meet those demands.
Regional water supply plans are updated every five years as required by Florida law.