Message from Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle

Cost-share funding supports Governor’s priorities for water resources

Jan. 21, 2021

Workers install central sewer lines

Workers install central sewer lines in Merritt Island to remove older septic systems, during a water quality improvement cost-share project with the District.

With a new year comes a new opportunity to participate in cost-share funding programs of the St. Johns River Water Management District to help support local projects that further our core missions work to benefit water resources. During the past few weeks, we kicked off the application cycles for our Districtwide, Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) / Innovative programs and two agricultural cost-share programs.

Through these funding opportunities, we are helping local communities stretch their dollars to increase water conservation, develop alternative water supplies, improve water quality, enhance natural systems and provide flood protection — achieving greater benefits toward our core missions than any of us could make alone. Likewise, District funding assistance is helping to make great strides in water conservation and water quality benefits in our collaboration with farmers, growers and ranchers.

We are grateful that our Governing Board members continue to place an emphasis on helping the District forge partnerships to help fund cost-effective, beneficial water projects throughout our 18-county region. What we’ve accomplished together is impressive.

  • Through the Districtwide and REDI programs since fiscal year (FY) 2014–15, we have provided funding for 304 Districtwide and REDI/Innovative cost-share program projects, with the majority completed within two years. Through Dec. 31, 2020, we have funded $211 million toward worthy water projects in local communities! This amount includes funding under the District’s FY 2020–2021 program.
  • In the same time frame, agricultural producers have benefitted from more than $12.5 million through our agricultural cost-share programs. More than 9.75 million gallons of water per day (mgd) has been conserved, while annual reductions in total nitrogen are estimated at more than 414,000 pounds and in total phosphorus at more than 74,000 pounds.

This funding has been used to assist in projects such as the Ocala Wetland Recharge Park, which recharges the Upper Floridan aquifer, benefitting nearby Silver Springs by increasing water flow.  In the Indian River Lagoon region, funding has been used to remove old septic systems and connecting customers to central sewage systems to improve water quality. Funding also assisted REDI communities: In the city of Palatka, cost-share helped replace aging water supply pipes to correct inefficiencies in the city’s distribution system, while in the city of Bunnell, cost-share provided funding to extend the city’s reclaimed water distribution. Agricultural funding has benefitted water quality improvement work through improved fertilizer practices that reduce nutrient loads from reaching our waterways and provide technology that helps ag producers use water more efficiently while improving crop yields.

The Districtwide and REDI application cycle is open through 5 p.m., Feb. 19, while the Agricultural application cycle deadline is Jan. 29. We invite you to find details and applications on our website, along with a contact list of staff who can answer questions.

See our past stories