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Division of Water Resource Management

The Division of Water Resource Management (DWRM) is responsible for implementing state laws providing for the protection of the quality of Florida’s drinking water, ground water, rivers, lakes, estuaries and wetlands; reclamation of mined lands; and the preservation of the state’s beach and dune systems. 

It is comprised of several programs that perform water facilities regulation, beach permitting and management, and operational support services and functions. The majority of division staff is located in Tallahassee; however, its Mining & Mitigation and Oil & Gas programs have staff operating in satellite offices throughout the state. The division also serves as Florida’s central point of contact for federally delegated water programs, such as National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Stormwater (NPDES), Drinking Water and Underground Injection Control (UIC), and has regulatory oversight of certain functions of water and wastewater facilities throughout Florida. These include, but are not limited to industrial and domestic wastewater, power plants, municipal separate storm water systems (MS4s), and public drinking water systems. Additionally, the division regulates certain beach construction and beach, inlet, and port management activities, as well as  the environmental resource permitting of mines and mitigation banks.  We continue to work toward safeguarding Florida’s water resources and enhancing natural systems through partnering with local communities, and providing a more certain, consistent and effective regulatory process. For additional program information, please see the individual programs outlined below. 


 

Aquifer Protection Program - UIC

Looking westward at the Florida capitol building in Tallahassee, Florida.
Implements Florida's Underground Injection Control program, which provides necessary disposal while protecting underground sources of drinking water.

Certification and Restoration Program

Rays of Sun through the Water
Oversees professional licensing of water and wastewater treatment operators.

Domestic Wastewater Program

head spring in Jackson Blue Spring Recreational Area near Marianna
Works with wastewater utilities and Florida residents to protect and conserve water resources while meeting the basic public health need for...

Industrial Wastewater

Sebastian Inlet State Park - North Jetty
Regulates facilities and activities that discharge to surface waters and ground waters of the state.

Mining and Mitigation Program

Lake Louisa State Park - view across the lake
The Mining and Mitigation Program regulates mining in Florida. Staff review ERPs and reclamation plans for mines and handle permitting, compliance,...

Nonmandatory Land Reclamation Program

Oleta River State Park - A new growth of mangroves
Funding for the restoration of old abandoned phosphate mines, mined prior to 1975, identified in a 1980 report.

NPDES Stormwater Program

Photograph of Weeki Wachee River downstream from Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
Regulates point source discharges from three potential sources: Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s), construction activities and industrial...

Oil and Gas Program

Water
Primary responsibilities include conservation of oil and gas resources, correlative rights protection, maintenance of health and human safety, and...

Phosphate Management Program

Washington Oaks Gardens State Park - Sea Foam on the Coquina Rocks
The Phosphate Management Program implements industrial wastewater permitting, compliance, and enforcement activities for the phosphate industry.

Source & Drinking Water Program

Blue Spring State Park - Manatees in clear water
DEP has the primary role of regulating any public water system in Florida that provides water to 25 or more people for at least 60 days each year or...

Submerged Lands and Environmental Resources...

T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park - Looking out over the marsh
Submerged Lands and Environmental Resource Coordination is responsible for the consistent implementation of the Environmental Resource Program...

Water Compliance Enforcement Program

Honeymoon Island State Park - Tidal pool and Red sky
Leads statewide coordination of compliance and enforcement activities relating to the Industrial Wastewater, Domestic Wastewater and the NPDES...

Benjamin Melnick, Director, Division of Water Resource Management

Benjamin Melnick was appointed director of the Division of Water Resource Management in November of 2019, to continue the mission of safeguarding Florida’s water resources through proactive partnering with local stakeholders, other regulatory agencies and communities, and providing a more consistent and effective regulatory process. The Division is committed to working to achieve more now for Florida’s environment. To that end, the Division’s ultimate goal is to enhance both the quality and available quantity of water needed by the state’s residents, tourists, and industries, while also providing protection of the state’s wetlands, beaches, ground and surface waters today and for generations to come.

Before joining the Division as a program administrator in compliance and enforcement, Ben served the DEP Office of General Counsel in the litigation section and in a variety of roles as a program attorney for Waste, Air, Recreation and Parks, and the Siting Coordination Office. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Millersville University of Pennsylvania in Speech Communications and a Juris Doctorate with a certification in Environmental Law from Florida State University’s College of Law.

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