PALATKA, Fla., May 12, 2021 ― Twenty-four projects will share in nearly $10.6 million from the St. Johns River Water Management District for construction of water supply and water conservation, water quality improvement, natural systems restoration and flood protection projects. The District’s Governing Board on Tuesday approved project rankings for the fiscal year 2021–2022 Districtwide Cost-share Program and the agency’s annual cost-share funding program for Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) communities and innovative projects.
“These cost-share projects will help develop approximately 10.6 million gallons per day of alternative water supplies, reduce nutrient loading to our waterways and springs, protect against flooding and conserve water,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle.
District cost-share funding for water resource protection and restoration projects helps local governments make progress in preserving, restoring and enhancing the Floridan aquifer system, the St. Johns River, Indian River Lagoon and other waterways and Outstanding Florida Springs.
- Thirteen water quality protection projects are estimated to reduce nutrient loads by nearly 32,200 pounds of total nitrogen per year and 4,450 pounds of total phosphorus per year. These include:
- Orange County Wekiwa Springs Septic Tank Retrofit Project Phase 2, benefiting Wekiwa Springs
- Lake County Lake Joanna Stormwater Enhancements, reducing nutrient loads to Lake Joanna
- A fourth phase of the Elsie and Horse Landing roads septic-to-sewer REDI/Innovative project in Putnam County
- Seven water supply projects that include alternative water supply projects and water conservation projects:
- Deland Alabama Avenue Reclaimed Water Main Extension, which includes the installation 4,800 linear feet of reclaimed water main within Volusia Blue Springs springshed
- Vero Beach Canal to Irrigation Water Project, which includes construction of a reclaimed water main to transmit treated canal water for use in irrigation. The project also provides a water quality benefit to the Indian River Lagoon
- Two flood protection projects in Marion County are estimated to protect 28 acres — the Country Gardens Stormwater Remediation Project and the Southeast 64th Avenue Road Drainage Retention Area.
- Two projects focus on natural system protections, including the top-ranked Ocala Lower Floridan Aquifer Conversion Project, which will ultimately provide alternative water supplies that would increase springflows to Silver Springs by nearly 7 cubic feet per second, and the Seminole County Little Wekiva Restoration Project, which would restore 20 acres of wetlands.
The Board also approved sending a list of 15 springs restoration projects benefitting Outstanding Florida Springs, including Silver, Volusia Blue, DeLeon and Wekiwa–Rock springs, to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) for funding consideration, along with 11 alternative water supply projects also to be evaluated for FDEP funding.
In total, 36 applications totaling nearly $20 million in requested District funding were ranked and scored based on core mission benefits, cost effectiveness, likelihood of successful and timely completion, and application quality and completeness. Projects must begin during fiscal year 2021-2022 and be completed within two years.
Cost-share project rankings for each program can be found here.