Collaborative plan addresses long-term water supply needs
PALATKA, Fla., Nov. 10, 2020 — The St. Johns River Water Management District Governing Board today approved an updated plan to address central Florida’s current and long-term water supply needs. The 2020 Central Florida Water Initiative’s (CFWI) Regional Water Supply Plan is an update to the collaboratively developed 2015 plan to protect, conserve, restore and develop water supplies in the five counties at the convergence of the St. Johns, South Florida and Southwest Florida water management districts in central Florida.
“The 2020 update is a balanced approach to meeting the CFWI Planning Area’s future water demands,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “Water conservation and the continued development of alternative water sources remain priorities so we can meet these demands while protecting our water resources and natural systems.”
Regional water supply plans identify needs and recommend strategies for meeting future water demands of urban and agricultural uses, as well as the environment. The planning process highlights areas where current sources of water will not meet future demands and evaluates water source options, including water conservation, to meet those demands. Required by state law, the plans are based on a 20-year outlook and must be updated every five years.
The CFWI Planning Area covers five counties including Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole and southern Lake.
The plan approved by the Governing Board today is based on a planning horizon through 2040 and identifies water conservation efforts, water supply and water resource development project options, and recognizes prevention or recovery strategies for targeted minimum flows and minimum water levels (MFL) water bodies.
The 2020 plan was developed using updated water use and population projections as well as the incorporation of new data collected at wetland and groundwater monitoring sites. In addition, the impact analysis was performed using an updated groundwater computer model which used new geological data.
Each of the three water management district governing boards are considering the plan for approval at their November meetings. Visit cfwiwater.com to review the final draft.
The 2020 planning process included a two-month public comment period and two virtual public workshops.
The CFWI is a collaborative water supply planning effort among the state’s three largest water management districts, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) and water utilities, environmental groups, business organizations, agricultural communities and other stakeholders.