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People recognize and respect city and county borders. Water does not. The South Florida Water Management District is a regional agency committed to being a good neighbor, ensuring that local perspectives are incorporated into District activities. Strong working relationships between local officials and staff allow us to share and utilize our knowledge, expertise and resources to address shared water and land stewardship responsibilities. Intergovernmental communication, cooperation and coordination are vital to meeting the water resource needs of our communities.

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Stormwater Improvements

Managing stormwater runoff is a District priority that relies on successful local partnerships. When rain falls, South Florida landscapes are designed to channel excess stormwater into retention ponds and stormwater collection systems. Along the way, the stormwater picks up all kinds of pollutants, including fertilizers and pesticides from lawns as well as oils and coolant spilled from roadways and cars. Eventually, that stormwater runoff flows into regional lakes, canals and wetlands, and makes its way more gradually to the aquifers that supply our drinking water. Stormwater improvement projects address flooding and water quality issues caused by stormwater runoff.

The District's Stormwater Improvement Program provides water quality and quantity enhancement for surface waters within the District's 16-county service area through cooperation with local governments on developing and implementing pollution control and flood reduction strategies. The program's main priorities are Surface Water Improvement and Management Plan implementation, Total Maximum Daily Load Basin Management Action Plan cooperation and response, watershed pollution control planning projects, watershed flood reduction planning and projects, plus support for service center and ecosystem restoration programs.

Here are just a few examples of local stormwater improvement projects that depend on local intergovernmental communication, cooperation and coordination.

Town of Cutler Bay Stormwater Master Plan »
Billy's Creek Filter Marsh Park »
Monroe County Stormwater Improvements »
The Loxahatchee River Preservation Initiative (LRPI) »
Town of Southwest Ranches Stormwater Improvement »
2011-2012 Broward County Initiative Community Budget Issue Request (CBIR) »

More Stormwater Projects

A variety of projects involving partnerships with local government are listed below, by county or watershed:


Sea Level Rise Coordination

Sea level rise has already begun to limit the effectiveness of some coastal water control structures. Further inland movement of the seawater front could also have significant impacts on water supply wells. It is possible that the current problems of saltwater intrusion into groundwater supplies could increase with only a relatively small rise in sea level. Additional concerns include increased flooding because storm surges would have higher bases to build upon and rainwater would drain more slowly, plus the salinity of estuaries and aquifers would increase, threatening water supplies and aquatic life.

The District's continued participation in multi-agency task forces and strong partnerships at every level of government assure a common approach and shared information. Analyses are under way to assess possible impacts to water supply wellfields, coastal water control structures and planning assumptions used for ecosystem restoration and other water resource projects.

Intergovernmental Policy and Planning

The District provides technical expertise and strategic collaborations with local, regional and state agencies on growth management, land use, water resource issues and policies. The partnerships are ongoing, starting early in the process to prevent potential conflicts by communicating about possible water resource issues and challenges, and continuing this two-way communications as plans are revised and refined.

These collaborative intergovernmental partnerships include a wide range of commitments:

  • Planning and technical assistance for Evaluation and Appraisal Reports for Local Government Comprehensive Plans, 10 Year Water Supply Facilities Work Plans, and other special planning efforts

  • Review of Local Government Comprehensive Plan amendments and 10 Year Water Supply Facilities Work Plans

  • Review of Developments of Regional Impact (DRIs), Federal projects submitted to the State Clearinghouse, Tribal documents, Regional Planning Council Policy Plans, Rural Land Stewardship Plans, Watershed Master Plans as well as siting for Power Plants, Transmission Lines and Natural Gas Pipelines

  • Planning and technical assistance for regional visioning, land development regulations, local ordinances and development standards


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SFWMD Headquarters: 3301 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach, Florida 33406
561-686-8800 | 1-800-432-2045 (Florida Only)