OUR MISSION: To manage and protect water resources of the region by balancing and improving flood control, water supply, water quality and natural systems.
The South Florida Water Management District is a regional governmental agency that manages the water resources in the southern half of the state, covering 16 counties from Orlando to the Florida Keys and serving a population of 8.1 million residents. It is the oldest and largest of the state's five water management districts. Created in 1949, the agency is responsible for managing and protecting water resources of South Florida by balancing and improving flood control, water supply, water quality and natural systems.
A key initiative is the restoration of America's Everglades – the largest environmental restoration project in the nation's history. The District is also working to improve the Kissimmee River and its floodplain, Lake Okeechobee and South Florida's coastal estuaries.
We operate the primary water control system and manage water supplies year-round, meeting this challenge even during South Florida's weather extremes.
The primary water control system includes:
Approximately 2,100 miles of canals and 2,000 miles of levees/berms
More than 600 water control structures and 625 project culverts
71 pump stations
About 3,500 hydrological monitoring stations at more than 625 flow sites, including 200 rain gauges and 27 weather stations
We safeguard and expand regional water supplies for people and the environment for today and tomorrow, emphasizing the development of alternative water sources and water conservation.
We restore and protect natural ecosystems including rivers, lakes, wetlands/uplands, bays, coastal estuaries and America's Everglades.
Major natural systems:
Upper Chain of Lakes
Kissimmee River and floodplain
Caloosahatchee River and estuary
St. Lucie River and estuary
Big Cypress National Preserve
Everglades Water Conservation Areas (3)
Everglades National Park/Florida Bay
We were created by state legislation in 1949 as the Central and Southern Florida Flood Control District. The Water Resources Act of 1972 established Florida's five water management districts and broadened our responsibilities. We formally became the South Florida Water Management District on Jan. 1, 1977.
Our service area encompasses 31 percent of the state's total land area, or 18,000 square miles.
Our boundaries are determined by watersheds and hydrology. We encompass all or part* of 16 counties:
Agency headquarters are in West Palm Beach with four regional Service Centers and eight field stations throughout the 16-county region.
We serve 41 percent of the state's population, or 8.1 million people.
Nearly 1.5 million acres of land within our boundaries is in public ownership.
57,000 acres of constructed wetlands remove excess nutrients from runoff water before it enters the Everglades.
Our Fiscal Year runs from October 1 through September 30. We are funded through ad valorem (property) taxes and other sources.
Priorities, policies and the budget are set by a nine-member Governing Board.
Day-to-day management is led by the Executive Director.
ACCOUNTABILITY: The BUSINESS of WATER MANAGEMENT Effectively Managing and Investing Taxpayer Dollars
The South Florida Water Management District constantly looks for and aggressively implements ways to improve and streamline operations. We strive to be as efficient and effective as possible and have instituted a number of enhanced business practices over the years. We know that sustaining our region's water resources depends equally on making the best use of our fiscal, technological and human resources and on creating business opportunities for the communities we serve.
To underscore our transparency and public accountability, we routinely:
Streamline permitting, procurement and other economy-driven processes
Actively foster business and community partnerships
Measure and report on progress toward meeting established budget and strategic goals
Encourage involvement and open dialogue with the public we serve
Collaborate with other agencies and governments to share resources and reduce costs
Embrace technologies that improve our efficiency
To read more about the agency's business practices, see: