Water Management District, South Florida

The South Florida Water Management District, with its headquarters in West Palm Beach, is the oldest and largest of Florida’s five water management districts, managing water resources in a 16-county region (Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Polk, and St. Lucie) that serves a population of over 8.1 million.

water management district

Goals of the South Florida Water Management District

Regional representatives establish and develop partnerships with local governments and community groups in order to gain better insights into local water resources through education and outreach activities.

The original goal of the agency was to provide flood control for South Florida residents after years of drought, followed by two major hurricanes, that resulted in significant flooding upsetting the eco-system in 1947.  Florida asked the federal government for a strategy to control the region’s natural resources. In 1948, the U.S. Congress created the Central and Southern Florida (C&SF) Project, the largest civil works project in the country. Building work began the following year and continued for the next 20 years as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers created an impressive flood control plumbing system stretching from south of Orlando to Florida Bay.

South Florida Water Management District Plumbing System

The South Florida Water Management District manages water supply for industrial, municipal, and agricultural uses, water supply for Everglades National Park, and controls saltwater intrusion in order to protect fish and wildlife resources.

The plumbing system comprises of some 2,000 miles of canals and more than 2,800 miles of levees/berms, 645 water control structures, 69 pump stations, and more than 700 culverts, helping to provide flood control and protect regional water supplies.

South Florida Water Management District Protects our Unique Ecosystems

Today, the South Florida Water Management District not only controls flooding, but also manages the region’s water supply, balances and improves water quality, controls natural systems, and works to restore and protect our unique ecosystems: the Everglades, Kissimmee River and Lake Okeechobee.

The Everglades

The Everglades is a tropical wetlands region in south Florida.  It forms a drainage basin for Southern Florida, collecting groundwater and river water.  The catchment system begins near Orlando with the Kissimmee River, and directs water into the vast, but shallow Lake Okeechobee.

Kissimmee River and its Floodplain

Lake Kissimmee is rich with wildlife, including white tailed deer, alligators, bobcats, turkeys, bald eagles, ospreys, and sandhill cranes.

There are at least five islands in the lake. The largest is the southern, Brahma Island, followed by Sturm Island in the north. The other islands are Rabbit Island, Ox Island and Bird Island, in the eastern part of the lake.

Lake Okeechobee

Lake Okeechobee is the largest freshwater lake in the state of Florida and also one of the top largest freshwater lakes in the US.  Okeechobee covers 730 square miles (1,900 km2), which for comparison’s sake is approximately half the size of the state of Rhode Island.  Whilst being large, it is also very shallow with an average depth of only 9 feet (2.7 metres).

Caselaw Studies for matters relating to the South Florida Water Management District

Exhaustive, weekly, looseleaf reporting of Administrative, Circuit and Appellate Court caselaw regarding Florida Environmental & Land Use matters.  To subscribe to this environmental law publication – please click here.

At FALR, we offer access to our consolidated database of all administrative court orders and hearings in full, including all precedential Florida Department of Environmental Protection Cases.  Our database service is complete with search functions which allow our customers to find the exact case documentation they seek in a single simple step.  Subscribing grants you instant access to our database, which updates automatically as new orders and hearings are entered by Florida courts.  We also offer a physical copy subscription, which provides bound book volumes of all indexed cases.

Importantly, our Supercumulative Indexes to published cases go back to 1979 in print, and 1989 online – where access is free to all!

The best legal publication for South Florida Water Management Caselaw is the
Florida Public Service Commission.

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