The Central Florida Water Initiative (CFWI) Steering Committee recently accepted the amended Regional Water Supply Plan (RWSP) and the draft 2035 Water Resources Protection and Water Supply Strategies Plan (Solutions Plan). That action sends the documents to the Governing Boards of three central Florida water management districts for consideration.
The RWSP charts a long-term course for water supply in Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole and south Lake counties through 2035.
This is the culmination of more than five years of a coordinated effort involving experts in the water-supply field, and the contributions of more than 6,000 stakeholders who attended public meetings and provided comments that helped shape the plans.
Three water management districts will now consider approval of the documents at the following meetings:
St. Johns River Water Management District Governing Board – Nov. 10 meeting in Palatka.
South Florida Water Management District – Nov. 12 meeting in West Palm Beach.
Southwest Florida Water Management – Nov. 17 meeting in Tampa.
The CFWI is a collaborative effort that engaged the three water management districts, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the central Florida utilities and stakeholders representing agricultural interests, the business community, local governments and the environmental community.
The CFWI process led to the creation of a regional groundwater model. It found that the potential water-supply needs of 2035 could exceed the sustainable limits of the Floridan aquifer by as much as 250 million gallons a day. The Regional Water Supply Plans, and the more-detailed 2035 Water Resources Protection and Water Supply Strategies Plan call for more aggressive water conservation programs, expansion and more efficient water reuse projects and a comprehensive menu of alternative water-supply projects to ensure adequate water supplies for the regional through 2035.