Restricted Allocation Areas
Restricted allocation areas (RAAs) are defined geographic areas within the District where new or increased consumptive use allocations are restricted due to concerns regarding water availability. RAAs are adopted for a variety of reasons, including 1) where there is insufficient water to meet the projected needs of a region, 2) to protect water for natural systems and future restoration projects (e.g., Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan [CERP] projects), or 3) as part of MFL recovery or prevention strategies. RAA criteria adopted for specific water sources in the District are listed in Section 3.2.1 (page 54) of the Applicant’s Handbook for Water Use Permit Applications within the South Florida Water Management District (Applicant's Handbook), which is incorporated by reference in Rule 40E-2.091, F.A.C.
Adopted Restricted Allocation Area Rules
RAA criteria have been adopted for nearly 4.4 million acres in the District. The earliest adoption of RAA criteria occurred in 1981 for the C-23/C-24/C-25 canal system, the L-1/L-2/L-3 canal system, and the Lake Istokpoga/Indian Prairie canal system. Additional surface water allocations from these water bodies, as well as increased surface water pump capacities, are prohibited under these RAAs. RAA criteria were also adopted restricting the placement of pumps on flowing Floridan aquifer wells in Martin and St. Lucie counties.
RAA criteria were adopted in 2007 for the North Palm Beach County/Loxahatchee River Watershed waterbodies and the Lower East Coast Everglades waterbodies as regulatory components of the Northwest Fork of the Loxahatchee River MFL and Everglades MFL recovery strategies. The RAA limits the allocation of water from these areas to base condition water use as described in the Applicant’s Handbook.
In 2008, the District adopted RAA criteria for the Lake Okeechobee Service Area (LOSA) as the regulatory component of the Lake Okeechobee MFL recovery strategy. LOSA is defined as Lake Okeechobee and the integrated conveyance system hydraulically connected to Lake Okeechobee, including a portion of the C‑43 Canal (Caloosahatchee River) and C-44 Canal (St. Lucie River). The LOSA RAA limits allocations to historical water uses that occurred from April 1, 2001, to January 1, 2008. More information concerning RAAs adopted by the District is available in Subsection 3.2.1 of the Applicant’s Handbook. A map showing all the adopted RAAs can be found in Chapter 3 of the South Florida Environmental Report – Volume II.