Water figures prominently in building the future resilience and sustainability of Southeast Florida. Efforts to protect drinking water supplies, prevent water pollution, and manage stormwater must continue within the context of rising sea levels. The recommendations for regional action around water derive from four overarching principles. First, as the regional agency responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Central and South Florida flood control system and the infrastructure changes that affect system performance, the South Florida Water Management District, jointly with local governments, should play a prominent role in a) developing regional and sub-regional models and b) creating a framework to inform local models and ensure coordinated water management planning, system improvements, and resilience investments across the region. Second, resilience requires consistency in the use of current science and technology to support planning, management, and investment decisions across all agencies and the region. Third, resilience planning must address spatial and temporal dimensions, ranging from local to regional perspectives, inland to coastal to barrier island settings, chronic to acute stressors, and short- to long-term impacts. Fourth, regional resilience strategies should be developed with consideration of upstream and downstream consequences, including regional water quality and quantity implications, to avoid unintended effects on neighboring communities.
Ensure consistency in water resource scenario planning
Inventory water and wastewater infrastructure
Integrate surface and groundwater impacts in planning
Expand partnerships and resources for innovation
Support the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan