Water Supply Planning
It's Easy to Take Water for Granted
Without much thought, you turn on the faucet and water flows out. We see water all around us in Florida, which averages more rain in a year (50-60 inches) than most other states. How could water supply ever be a worry in South Florida?
Growing Demand for Limited Water Resources
More than 3 billion gallons of water are used every day in central and southern Florida by 9 million residents and millions of visitors – for drinking and bathing, watering our lawns, growing our crops and servicing our industries. With increasing water demands, the region's traditional freshwater sources may not be enough to inexpensively meet all future water needs.
Planning for Future Needs
South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) proactively develops long-term water supply plans to monitor, evaluate and identify water sources and projects to meet the future water needs throughout its 16-county region. As part of its mission, the SFWMD ensures there are sufficient water supplies to meet the needs of the region’s residents, visitors, and the environment – now and in the future. Water supply planning, water conservation and the use of alternative water supplies are essential to meet the growing demand on limited water resources.
SFWMD staff works with the District’s partners, stakeholders, and members of the public to develop regional water supply plans for five planning areas encompassing the District that evaluate current and future water demands and identify water sources for all of South Florida’s needs while protecting the water resources and the environment. Water supply plans look at least 20 years into the future and are updated every five years to stay current with growth trends.
The most effective way to address this challenge is through water supply planning, conservation and the development and use of alternative water supplies to supplement our traditional water supply.
Some examples of alternative water supply include:
- Saline water sources and reverse osmosis treatment– using brackish (salty) water from deeper aquifers for drinking water
- Aquifer storage and recovery – storing water in an aquifer system when there is excess water and recovering the stored water during dry times when it is needed
- Reclaimed water use – using reclaimed, treated water for irrigating residential lots, golf courses and other green spaces and for groundwater recharge and industrial uses
Through technical and funding assistance, the South Florida Water Management District helps local governments meet state requirements and protect our water resources.
To match projected water use determined in the water supply plans with actual water use, the South Florida Water Management District issues permits that determine how much water city and county utilities and other large users are allowed to withdraw from our shared underground water reserves.
We are not the agency responsible for delivering or treating the water you use in your home or business. If you have questions about your water bill or rates, water pressure or drinking water quality, you should contact your city or county or utility. The same is true for sewage treatment questions.
- Upper Kissimmee Basin (CFWI) Water Supply Plan
- Lower Kissimmee Basin Water Supply Plan
- Upper East Coast Water Supply Plan
- Lower East Coast Water Supply Plan
- Lower West Coast Water Supply Plan
- 2021-2024 Support Document for the Water Supply Plan Updates [PDF]
- 2022 Physical Features and Water Resources of the South Florida Water Management District [PDF]
- Water Supply Facilities Work Plans
Utility Rate Survey
The SFWMD Utility Rate Survey Report provides an inventory of the water and wastewater rates of utilities within the District’s boundaries. The purpose of the report is to assess the pricing of water within the District’s boundaries and to inventory the region’s use of rate structures that encourage water efficiency. Rate structures are set by individual water providers and vary widely in complexity and cost, reflecting the difference in water supply sources, treatment processes, infrastructure, debt service and other factors.
- SFWMD 2022 Utility Rate Survey
- SFWMD 2021 Utility Rate Survey
- SFWMD 2020 Utility Rate Survey
- SFWMD 2019 Utility Rate Survey
- SFWMD 2018 Utility Rate Survey
- SFWMD 2017 Utility Rate Survey
Estimated Water Use Report
The SFWMD 2021 Estimated Water Use Report is a compilation of estimated water use in six use categories within SFWMD's region for calendar year 2021. The report is based primarily on water pumpage records reported pursuant to water use permitting requirements.
In 2021, approximately 2,879 million gallons per day (mgd) of surface water and groundwater were used in the following categories:
- Public Supply (1,230 mgd)
- Domestic Self-Supply (43 mgd)
- Commercial/Industrial/Institutional (152 mgd)
- Agriculture (1,064 mgd)
- Landscape/Recreation (380 mgd)
- Power Generation (12 mgd)
Of the 2,879 mgd, approximately 1,840 mgd were derived from groundwater sources and 1,039 mgd were derived from surface water sources, with 2,637 mgd being fresh water and 242 mgd considered saline water. Additionally, approximately 251 mgd of reclaimed water were used, primarily for landscape irrigation and, to a lesser extent, industrial and power generation uses.
The District began preparing annual water use estimation reports with 2014 data. Publication time for each report accounts for submittal of water use data by users, data entry and verification, data analysis and compilation and report development. To see previous reports:
- SFWMD 2020 Estimated Water Use Report
- SFWMD 2019 Estimated Water Use Report
- SFWMD 2018 Estimated Water Use Report
- SFWMD 2017 Estimated Water Use Report
- SFWMD 2016 Estimated Water Use Report (Revised 2019)
- SFWMD 2015 Estimated Water Use Report (Revised 2019)
- SFWMD 2014 Estimated Water Use Report
For water use reports from other agencies:
- Southwest Florida Water Management District
- St. Johns River Water Management District
- U.S. Geological Survey
SFWMD Draft 2022 Five-Year Water Resource Development Work Program
The South Florida Water Management District Governing Board has prepared its Draft Fiscal Year 2022 Five-Year Water Resource Development Work Program (Program) in accordance with Section 373.536(6)(a)4., Florida Statutes (F.S.). The report covers Fiscal Years 2022-2026, which spans October 1, 2021, through September 30, 2026. Contents in the document describe the District’s implementation strategies for the water resource development component of each District-approved regional water supply plan (developed or updated pursuant to Section 373.709, F.S.). The Draft Program document is available for review here:
Water Supply Cost Estimation Study
Development costs of alternative water supply options play an important role in evaluating alternatives associated with water supply planning. This Water Supply Cost Estimation Study (March 2023) compiles information and cost data for water supply development costs (including capital and operation and maintenance costs) utilizing engineering costs, construction costs, and cost estimating relationships for projects constructed within the last 10 years. Other cost sources such as RSMeans, suppliers, contractors, and vendors were also used where appropriate. The study provides cost data (in December 2021 dollars) for development costs for the following alternative water supply options and treatment facilities:
- Water Supply Wells
- Advanced Water Treatment Technologies
- Water Reclamation and Advanced Wastewater Treatment Technologies
- Deep Injection Wells
- Aquifer Storage and Recovery
- Surface Water Storage
- Pipeline Systems