Message from Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle

Dedicated regulatory staff play a big role in protecting Florida’s water

March 12, 2020

District regulatory staff holding blueprints
District regulatory staff inspect project areas to ensure they are built and operating to meet permitted conditions.

As an environmental agency, the St. Johns River Water Management District urges all water users to conserve Florida’s water resources indoors and outdoors, with water conservation and protection a big part of our mission.

 

In addition to each of us individually doing our part in our homes and businesses, much of the effort to prompt water conservation and efficient water use rests with our dedicated regulatory staff. Our staff of engineers, hydrologists and other scientists work quietly behind the scenes to balance the needs of our growing population with preserving groundwater supplies in the aquifer system, natural springs, rivers, lakes and streams by applying their knowledge to state rules and laws when reviewing consumptive use and environmental resource permits.

 

Ultimately their work benefits us all. On the water use side, when an applicant seeks a consumptive use permit (CUP) to withdraw water from below the ground or from a surface water body, our reviewers ensure that the applicant applies water conservation methods and uses reclaimed water instead of higher-quality groundwater, when appropriate. And, our permitting process limits the amount of water that can be withdrawn from each source of water based on a demonstrated need for that water. 

 

Other members of our regulatory staff regulate construction activities as part of our environmental resource permit (ERP) process, another way the District protects water resources. Their work is focused on preventing adverse flooding, managing surface water, and protecting water quality, wetlands and other surface waters. District residents may come across staff’s work every day without realizing it. For example, when you see a stormwater pond filled to the brim following a heavy rainstorm, imagine tens of thousands of similar ponds throughout our 18-county District. Those ponds are there capturing nutrients, dirt and debris thanks to our ERP program. These staff members also help protect wetlands, managing the mitigation program, and moving swiftly to address unauthorized work and violations of Florida’s rules and laws through our compliance work group.

 

Our Division of Regulatory Services staff are committed to providing quality customer service, improving processes and issuing permits in a timely manner while continuing the stringent review necessary to protect and conserve water resources. Thanks to these dedicated staff for all you do.

See our past stories

Message from Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle for April 2, 2020
Staff picks: District land offers solitude at St. Johns River’s headwaters
Waterless Heroes: One man’s story
Message from Dr. Ann Shortelle: District staff continue mission’s work