Water Management Districts Receive Recognition

Excellence in Engineering

Florida’s five water management districts were recently honored as national “trendsetters” for irrigation conservation issues.

Thumbnail of the award.

The Irrigation Association collectively recognized all five of Florida’s water management districts by presenting the districts with the association’s 2002 National Water & Energy Conservation Award. The award was presented at the international organization’s annual meeting in New Orleans.

“The work done in Florida is a credit to our industry,” said Bill Pogue of the Irrigation Association.

One of the programs the districts were honored for is the mobile lab program that assists people in testing their irrigation systems. The mobile labs evaluate existing systems and make recommendations on how to improve the systems. They also provide the irrigators with soil moisture devices to assist with irrigation management.

The Southwest Florida Water Management District began funding mobile irrigation labs (MILs) in 1986. This was the first fully funded MIL program in Florida. Since 1986, the Southwest District’s MILs have evaluated more than 1,000 sites and been funded with about $500,000.

Florida’s water management districts were also honored for the unique structure and permitting system they provide statewide and educating the public about water conservation. Tom Kimmell said the Irrigation Association believes the structure of the water management districts and programs supported by the districts make the government agencies trendsetters in promoting conservation.