South Florida Water Management District Updates the Lower East Coast Water Supply Plan

October 5, 2018

The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) has developed the Draft 2018 Lower East Coast Water Supply Plan Update (LEC Update) to assess projected water demands and potential sources of water for the period from 2016-2040. This update is inclusive of SFWMD climate change and sea level rise current and future adaptive management strategies and reflective of the Compact’s efforts congruent with the RCAP recommendation (WS-3) to plan for future water supply.

The LEC Water Supply Planning Area includes Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and parts of Monroe, Collier, and Hendry Counties. This area has a growing population and limited freshwater resources. Because freshwater resources are limited, this LEC Update continues to emphasize water conservation and development of alternative water sources, such as brackish groundwater with reverse osmosis treatment, reclaimed water, storage options to capture excess seasonal fresh surface, and groundwater to address future demands. In addition, the LEC Update supports continued implementation of ecosystem restoration projects to protect and restore naturals systems.

This plan update includes a technical analysis of the current and future demands, evaluation of available sources, and identifies sources and projects to meet those needs while sustaining water resources and related natural systems. The LEC Update is used by local governments, water users, and utilities to update and modify local comprehensive plans, facility work plans, and ordinances. Four stakeholder meetings have been held over the last year and the comment period on the Draft LEC Update closed on September 21. The SFWMD’s Governing Board will vote on final approval of the plan at its meeting on November 8, 2018.

Local governments will have 18 months to amend their Comprehensive Plan to incorporate/update their Water Supply Facilities Work Plan (by May 2020), following approval of the plan. For more information on technical questions, please contact SFWMD staff Karin Smith, (561) 682-2026.