The Florida Legislature established the South Florida Water Management District to manage and protect water resources in our region. The District's work fits broadly into five categories.
Flood control has been part of the District's mission since it was created by the Legislature as the Central and Southern Florida Flood Control District in 1949. Throughout the year, Operations and Maintenance staff oversee approximately 2,200 miles of canals and 2,100 miles of levees/berms, 84 pump stations, 778 water control structures and weirs and 621 project culverts.
Water supply planning is essential to meet the growing demand on limited water resources of 9 million residents, millions of visitors, businesses and the environment. The District is addressing future needs by developing five distinct regional water supply plans and promoting water conservation and the use of alternative water supplies.
Water quality improvement efforts are removing excess nutrients that have altered South Florida's ecosystems. Vast constructed wetlands known as Stormwater Treatment Areas, combined with agricultural and urban Best Management Practices, have dramatically reduced phosphorus levels in the Everglades over the last two decades.
Numerous ecosystem restoration projects are being planned, built and operated to protect and preserve South Florida's unique ecosystems, including the Everglades, the Kissimmee River, Lake Okeechobee and a diverse array of coastal watersheds. The most prominent of these efforts is the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, a 50-50 partnership between the State of Florida and the federal government to restore, protect and preserve the greater Everglades ecosystem.
Finally, the District’s resiliency efforts focus on advancing scientific data and research needs to ensure the District’s resilience planning and projects are founded on the best available science, as well as developing and implementing comprehensive District-wide resiliency goals to mitigate and adapt to the challenges facing the District’s infrastructure and core functions from sea level rise and other climate change impacts. The District is making significant infrastructure adaptation investments that are needed to successfully implement its mission of safeguarding and restoring South Florida’s water resources and ecosystems, protecting communities from flooding, and ensuring an adequate water supply for all South Florida’s needs.