In February, the SFWMD Governing Board approved a $9 million one-time Cooperative Funding Program as a way to support local stormwater management, alternative water supply and water conservation projects. The program combines our existing cost-share efforts into a single, streamlined application process.
With contracts scheduled to be awarded in October, we are looking for eligible projects throughout our 16 counties that are proposed for construction/implementation from Oct. 1, 2016, through Sept. 30, 2018. Our goal is to identify projects that are construction-ready or ready-to-implement conservation technology programs that can provide the most immediate benefits. The application process is open and closes Friday, May 20, 2016, at 6 p.m.
Managing stormwater runoff is a District priority that relies on successful local partnerships. When rain falls, South Florida landscapes are designed to channel excess stormwater into retention ponds and stormwater collection systems. Along the way, the stormwater picks up all kinds of pollutants, including fertilizers and pesticides from lawns as well as oils and coolant spilled from roadways and cars. Eventually, that stormwater runoff flows into regional lakes, canals and wetlands, and makes its way more gradually to the aquifers that supply our drinking water.
The stormwater component of the Cooperative Funding Program will share the cost of local projects that address water quality and flooding issues caused by stormwater runoff. Eligible projects should target:
Areas discharging to an impaired water body
Areas with Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) allocations
Areas identified in a Best Management Action Plan (BMAP)
Areas identified within a Surface Water Improvement and Management Plan
Areas identified within another regional plan, such as the Caloosahatchee River Watershed Protection Plan, St. Lucie River Watershed Protection Plan or Broward County Integrated Water Resource Plan
Examples of eligible stormwater projects in previous years include stormwater treatment areas, innovative restoration projects that improve water quality, water storage and infrastructure modifications, sediment reduction facilities and stormwater retrofits.
Alternative Water Supply (AWS)
Meeting the growing need for water in South Florida hinges on efforts to develop region-specific sources that offer an alternative to traditional groundwater and surface water. This component of the Cooperative Funding Program is focused on supporting the development of AWS projects that will diversify the supply while reducing dependence on freshwater resources. Examples of alternative water supply are:
Saltwater or brackish water
Reclaimed or recycled water
Surface water captured during heavy rainfalls
Sources make available through addition of new storage capacity
Storm water (for use by consumptive use permittee)
Any other source designated as non-traditional in a regional water supply plan
Eligible AWS projects in previous years have included aquifer storage and recovery (ASR), reclaimed water plant expansions and transmission mains, reverse osmosis plants, brackish water supply wells and tailwater recovery projects.
From Fiscal Years 1997 to 2016, AWS projects totaling approximately $1.5 billion in construction costs received partial funding from the South Florida Water Management District. The District provided approximately $194.6 million in budgeted grants toward 490 alternative water supply projects that produced 435 million gallons of capacity per day.
Formerly known as the Water Savings Incentive Program (WaterSIP), this component of the Cooperative Funding Program is continuing to support water conservation efforts of public and private water providers or users. Projects that use hardware and/or technology to implement water conservation are eligible for funding consideration.
Examples of eligible water conservation projects in previous years include:
High-efficiency indoor plumbing retrofits and/or rebates
Automatic line flushing devices and/or hydrant flushing devices
Pre-rinse spray valves
Irrigation retrofits, including soil moisture sensors, rain sensors and irrigation head upgrades
The District encourages industrial, commercial, institutional and agricultural water users, as well as homeowners and condominium associations, to apply for funding.
From Fiscal Years 2003 to 2015, $15.7 million in projects qualifying for WaterSIP were partially funded. The District contributed approximately $5.1 million toward 181 projects with an estimated savings of 2.84 billion gallons of water per year, or 7.8 million gallons of water per day.