Striking the balance: District gives nod to 2023 North Florida Water Supply Plan, merging growth and conservation efforts

Aerial view of the Water Resource Development project

PALATKA, Fla., Dec. 14, 2023 ― The 2023 North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan (NFRWSP) was approved by the St. John River Water Management District’s Governing Board on Dec. 12. Collaboratively developed by the St. Johns River Water Management District (District) and the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD), this update builds upon the foundation established in the 2017 plan.

Aerial view of the Water Resource Development project

The Black Creek Water Resource Development project was identified in the 2017 North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan and is currently under construction in Clay County.

The 2023 NFRWSP is a joint planning effort involving the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, SRWMD, local governments, public supply utilities, environmental advocates, business organizations, agricultural commodity groups and other stakeholders. This collaborative initiative assesses existing and future water demands, recognizing potential impacts on the region’s water resources.

“The District remains dedicated to proactive, sustainable water resource management practices,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Mike Register. “I am grateful to the staff, our many partners and stakeholders whose collaboration helps ensure we are shaping a resilient and thriving North Florida for generations to come.”

The updated plan addresses a critical concern: traditional groundwater sources alone cannot meet the projected 2045 increased groundwater demand of 135 million gallons per day (mgd) while maintaining the integrity of water resources and ecosystems. Consequently, the 2023 NFRWSP outlines over 160 mgd of strategic water conservation, supply and resource development projects aimed at bridging the projected water demand gap while safeguarding our natural resources.

This planning initiative involved significant stakeholder outreach including District-led workshops and a final public review period from Sept.12 through Oct. 6, 2023. All comments received were reviewed, and the Districts have responded to each comment, reflecting an inclusive and collaborative approach in the final draft of the updated 2023 NFRWSP.

For detailed insights and access to the 2023 North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan (2020-2045) and associated appendices, please visit the North Florida website at