Program highlights

Cypress tree over hanging a river

Permitting program

Permitting program ensures balance for water resources among people and the environment.

  • 3,602 environmental resource permits issued, denied, withdrawn or closed (2023)
  • 352 consumptive use permits issued (2023)
  • 302 water well construction permits issued (2023)
Christine Wentze kneeling next to a fern

Cost-share programs

Cost-share programs help local governments and the ag community implement construction-ready projects to benefit District core missions. Since fiscal year 2013–2014 (through January 2023):

  • Awarded more than $345 million in cost-share funding, for a total of over $1 billion investment when combined with partner funding
  • Completed 689 projects
  • Developed 135 million gallons per day (mgd) of alternative water supply
  • Create 42 million gallons of alternative water storage capacity
  • Conserved 25 mgd of water
  • Reduced 9 million lbs/yr total nitrogen and over 480,000 lbs/yr reduction in total phosphorus
  • Protected over 5,400 acres from flooding, improved 66 acres of uplands, and improved 20 acres of wetlands
Two district employees inspecting mechanical components

Florida Water Star

Florida Water StarSM is a certification program designed to increase water efficiency in landscapes, irrigation systems and indoors.

  • Addresses specific needs relevant to Florida. Following program criteria conserves water and benefits Florida’s environment.
  • The program consists of criteria for three types of construction/development: Residential, commercial/institutional and community.
  • More than 8,500 structures, including single family homes, apartments and commercial buildings, certified since launching in 2006.
  • Partnered with the Florida Home Builders Association
  • Aligns with other “green” certification and recognition programs.
  • Florida Water Star homes have been shown to save up to 48,000 gallons of water per year compared to non-certified homes.
  • Florida Water Star
    • Saves homeowners money on utilities
    • Increases building appeal by adding resale or leasing value
    • Reduces landscape maintenance costs
    • Helps to protect our water resources
Two-story yellow house

Agricultural Cost-share Program

Agricultural Cost-share Program helps growers conserve water and help reduce offsite agricultural nutrient loading. Since 2015 (through January 2023), the Ag program has:

  • Awarded more than $25.7 million with an additional $6.5 million from the state/ Florida Department of Environmental Protection; $13.9 million contributed by agriculture operators
  • Funded 275 projects
  • Conservation/water made available: 14 mgd
  • Total alternative water made available: 2.2 mgd
  • Reduced total nitrogen: 555,741 lbs/year
  • Reduced total phosphorus: 109,222 lbs/year
Man taking samples from farmland soil

Blue School Grant Program

Blue School Grant Program — Since 2016:

  • Awarded $125,404 to 89 projects in 76 schools
  • Reached 12,440 students (through end of the 2022–2023 school year)
Students taking water samples from a creek

Who we are

  • Environmental regulatory agency, established by the Florida Water Resources Act of 1972.
  • Nine-member board appointed by the Governor and approved by the Florida Senate.
  • Work focuses on four core missions: water supply, water quality, flood protection and natural systems.
  • Funded by property taxes, permit fees, from local, state and federal sources, timber sales, cattle leases and interest earnings.
  • About 529 full time equivalent employees.
  • Service centers in Palatka (headquarters), Jacksonville, Apopka and Palm Bay.
  • The District covers/impacts:
    • 12,283 square miles, about 7.8 million acres.
    • All or part of 18 counties in northeast and east-central Florida.
    • 6.5 million people (2020), projected to grow to 6.55 million by 2040.
    • 780,000 acres of land, most of which is open for public recreation.
  • District waters include the northerly flowing St. Johns River, 148 known springs (including 8 Outstanding Florida Springs) and 1,400 lakes.
  • The District owns or manages 777,912 acres of land (through transfers, donations, fee-simple purchases and less-than-fee acquisitions). The majority of the property is open for the public to enjoy.
Core missions graphic

The District maintains:

  • 115 miles of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)/District-constructed flood control levees
  • 175 miles of farm/project levees
  • 12 major flood control structures
  • 76 minor water control structures
  • 15 weirs
  • 13 pump stations
  • 70 miles +/- of canals
  • More than 1,600 miles of roadways and trails
  • Three navigational locks
  • Ancillary infrastructure on 700,000 acres +/-
Two Ibises standing by tall grass

Water quality and quantity monitoring

  • Operates and maintains 1,600 monitoring stations.
  • Processes data from approximately 200 additional sites collected by federal agencies, other districts and local governments, or by the U.S. Geological Survey under contract to the District.
  • Each year, more than 16 million measurements are collected, verified, processed and stored.
Man standing waist-deep on a creek