The mission of the St. Johns River Water Management District is “to protect our natural resources and support Florida’s growth by ensuring the sustainable use of Florida’s water for the benefit of the people of the District and the state.” To meet that mission/vision statement, the district’s daily work is focused on four main core missions. These core missions guide the work of the district’s staff for the benefit of all residents in the district’s 18-county service area. Learn more about district projects.
The district works to address water quality issues through a variety of activities, including cost-share projects with local governments, aquatic systems restoration and protection projects; permitting; land acquisition and management activities. Strategies to protect and restore water quality include a commitment to comprehensive monitoring to guide impairment determinations, manage restoration projects and evaluate effectiveness. These efforts are closely coordinated with many partners, including the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s total maximum daily load (TMDL) and basin management action plan (BMAP) programs.
The district works with the state’s other water management districts, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, local governments and stakeholders to address water supply on a regional basis. Using detailed hydrologic data, the district sets minimum flows and levels for rivers, lakes and springs to ensure that water use does not cause significant harm to these important resources. The district and partners investigate, develop and implement supplemental (alternative) water supply projects. The district’s planning process is ongoing and plans are continually updated to reflect current and projected conditions, such as changes in anticipated population growth or decline that may result in changes to how much water a region will need and where the water may come from to meet those needs. Water conservation is a key component of ensuring an adequate water supply.
The district employs both structural and non-structural techniques to provide flood protection. Structural flood protection includes constructed levees, water control structures and pump stations to physically hold back potential floodwaters from downstream areas and control the water levels in the areas behind these structures. A key element in the district’s structural flood protection is our role as local sponsor of two federal flood control projects: The Upper St. Johns River Basin Project and the Ocklawaha River Basin portion of the Four River Basins, Florida Project. In total, the district maintains 115 miles of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)/District-constructed flood control levees, 175 miles of farm/project levees, 12 major flood control structures, 76 minor water control structures, 15 weirs, and 11 pump stations. Non-structural flood protection is achieved through management of water control structures to ensure compliance with regulation schedules and to minimize upstream and downstream flooding, implementation of stormwater management rules, purchase and conservation of floodplain wetlands to provide floodwater storage, and the collection and dissemination of hydrologic data to guide flood preparedness and responses.
The district’s stewardship of natural systems is divided between lands it has acquired as well as the natural lands and waters within its boundaries. Most of the natural systems benefits to the lands not owned by the district come from effective permitting, water quality improvement projects, minimum flows and levels and cost-share projects. The district is the lead manager of more than 425,000 acres of public land it has purchased, while it manages another 335,000 acres through a variety of partnerships with numerous agencies and local governments. Important activities include hydrologic restoration of altered drainage, invasive species management, use of prescribed fire for restoration and wildfire prevention, and providing resource-based recreation opportunities.