St. Johns River Water Management District

St. Johns River Water Management District

The St. Johns River Water Management District ("SJRWMD") is one of five Florida water management districts that is responsible for managing groundwater and surface water resources in Florida. SJRWMD covers an 18-county region in northeast and east-central Florida [ [http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch0373/SEC069.HTM&Title=- Florida Statutes Section 373.069] ] and employs approximately 700 people at offices in Palatka, Jacksonville, Altamonte Springs and Palm Bay, Florida. The district's headquarters is located in Palatka, Florida.

History

The five water management districts were established in 1972 by Chapter 373, Florida Statues, as independent special districts and were empowered by the electorate in 1976 to assess ad valorem taxes to fund the management of the state’s water resources, and related land resources, to benefit the citizens and the environment. [ [http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch0373/SEC503.HTM&Title=- Florida Statutes Section 373.503] ] Each water management district is administered by a Governing Board composed of citizens appointed by the Governor and approved by the Florida Senate. [ [http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch0373/SEC073.HTM&Title=- Florida Statutes Section 373.073] ] The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has general supervisory authority over the water management districts. [ [http://www.dep.state.fl.us/secretary/watman/default.htm Florida Department of Environmental Protection website: Water Management Districts] ]

Function

SJRWMD’s hydrological activities include:
#regulating the consumptive use of surface water and groundwater,
#regulating the construction and maintenance of stormwater management systems that serve developed properties in order to protect water quality and prevent flooding,
#regulating the construction of water wells and the licensure of water well contractors,
#conducting water supply planning,
#conducting research on water resource issues,
#buying and managing land for water management purposes, and
#operation of flood control structures for federal projects. [ [http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=Ch0373/part02.htm&StatuteYear=2005&Title=%2D%3E2005%2D%3EChapter%20373%2D%3EPart%20II Part II of Chapter 373, Florida Statutes] ] [ [http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch0373/PART03.HTM Part III of Chapter 373, Florida Statutes] ] [ [http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch0373/PART04.HTM Part IV of Chapter 373, Florida Statutes] ]

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The counties which are entirely within the SJRWMD are: Brevard, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Indian River, Lake, Marion, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, St. Johns, Seminole and Volusia. Partial counties include: Alachua, Baker, Bradford and Putnam. [ [http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch0373/SEC069.HTM&Title=- Florida Statutes Section 373.069 Florida Statutes] ]

The major river of the district is (obviously), the St. Johns River. The two major tributaries are Econlockhatchee Rivers and the Ocklawaha River. Minor tributaries include the Wekiva River, Doctors Lake, Black Creek, Trout River and a dozen other smaller bodies.

Issues

Potable water has been a problem in the western US since the mid-1950s, but was not an obvious issue in Florida, where lakes, springs and rivers seem to be everywhere. When the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971 near Orlando, the floodgates of development opened wide. Unrestricted growth in central Florida has created demand for water that exceeds the available supply of groundwater. The St. Johns River Water Management District must ensure that there is water for all citizens, but also must protect water supplies. The FDEP is working with the district to reach the best outcome. [ [http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/022408/met_250337957.shtml Florida Times-Union: Feb 23, 2008-Battle brewing over who can use St. Johns] ]

References

External links

* [http://sjrwmd.com/ Official web site]


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