Identify, develop and implement integrated water management strategies and infrastructure improvements concurrently with existing and enhanced water conservation and alternative water supply source efforts to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change, including sea level rise on water resources systems and operations.
Water is critical in preserving and enhancing the quality of life, future resilience and sustainability of Southeast Florida. Compounding effects of rising sea levels, changing rainfall patterns, increasing temperature and rising groundwater levels will increase the vulnerability of communities due to increasing flood periods, accelerating saltwater intrusion into freshwater aquifers, water shortages during droughts, and degradation of the ecological health of our environment. The economic viability of Southeast Florida, including real estate values, property insurability and the tourism industry depends on well-managed, sustainable and safe water resources. Between 2020 and 2040, the region’s population is projected to increase by 15.8%, while the demand for water in the South Florida Water Management District’s Lower East Coast Region is projected to increase by 10.6% over the same period. Ongoing efforts to protect drinking water supplies, prevent water pollution, restore and preserve the environment, and manage stormwater must be significantly accelerated and enhanced to account for the effects of current and future climate change.
The recommendations for regional action regarding water derive from four overarching principles. First, the South Florida Water Management District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which are the agencies responsible for the operation, maintenance and infrastructure that affects system performance of the Central and Southern Florida (C&SF) flood control system, should play a prominent role in water supply planning, flood protection, improvement of water quality and restoration using principles of integrated water management with an emphasis on climate change, in partnership with local governments and the private sector. Second, resilience against climate change requires consistency and urgency in the use of science and technology to support planning, management and investment decisions across all agencies and the region. Third, resilience planning must recognize that all water has value, and that the connectivity of water issues requires addressing spatial and temporal dimensions, ranging from local to regional scale, including inland to coastal to barrier island settings. Fourth, regional resilience strategies should be developed as a part of a planning and regulatory framework that considers future climate conditions, and upstream and downstream consequences, such as regional water quality and quantity implications, to avoid natural systems impacts and unintended effects on adjacent properties and communities.
 Florida Demographic Estimating Conference, March 2021 and the University of Florida, Bureau of Economic and Business Research, Florida Population Studies, Volume 54, Bulletin 189, April 2021
 The Lower East Coast Water Supply Plan includes Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and parts of Monroe, Collier and Hendry counties.
 South Florida Water Management District’s 2018 Lower East Coast Water Supply Plan Update.