Science and Data
Science Drives Water Management Decisions
The South Florida Water Management District's actions and water management plans are based on the expertise of scientists, researchers and modelers using the best available techniques and laboratory analyses. Unbiased and accurate data are mandatory for planning and implementing water quality improvements and environmental restoration efforts.
Monitoring Environmental Indicators
As part of routine scientific efforts, the District monitors numerous environmental indicators, such as surface water, ground water, rainfall, fish, birds, invertebrates and sediments. We also test for more than 100 water quality parameters in the Everglades Protection Area. Ongoing research focuses on optimizing the performance of Stormwater Treatment Areas and Best Management Practices, specifically to improve Everglades water quality.
Ongoing Scientific Research
The District and collaborating agencies conduct dozens of ongoing scientific research projects to obtain a better understanding of the influence of regional hydrology and other factors on Everglades plant, landscape, wildlife and ecology systems.
Have you ever wondered how much rain recently fell in your community? Or if the gates on a nearby canal are open? Or how high the water level is in Lake Okeechobee? The District can answer these questions and many others using data collected by an extensive monitoring system maintained throughout the 16 counties we serve. In this real-time monitoring network, you can check to see water levels in lakes, canals and waterways throughout the region. You can even find out if coastal gates and other water control structures are open or closed.
In addition, our extensive environmental database – called DBHYDRO – allows you to search for historical or up-to-date surface and groundwater information, as well as meteorlogic, hydrogeologic and water quality data for the District's region.
You are invited to the SFWMD's training course: DBHYDRO Environmental Database. Course participants will learn how to access water level, gate opening, rainfall, water quality and hydrogeologic data. Registration is required for the free, one-day event. Seats are limited. You must be at least 18 to register: more information and registration form.
The District also closely monitors weather conditions throughout the year using an extensive rainfall monitoring network. When rain is scarce, we keep water levels stable in canals, wetlands and lakes to prevent saltwater intrusion and protect groundwater supplies. In anticipation of heavy rainfall, we open flood gates and lower water levels in canals.
On our website, you can check to see how much rain has fallen in your neighborhood or in a neighborhood hundreds of miles away. Watch how rain – or lack of rain – changes water levels in lakes, canals and waterways throughout the region.