It is a policy of the Legislature that the state’s water resources be managed at a state and regional level. The Department of Environmental Protection, responsible for the administration of the water resources at the state level, exercises general supervisory authority over the state’s five water management districts, which are responsible for the administration of the water resources at the regional level.
The state's five water management districts include the Northwest Florida Water Management District, the Suwannee River Water Management District, the St. Johns River Water Management District, the Southwest Florida Water Management District, and the South Florida Water Management District. The department exercises general supervisory authority over the districts through a cooperative working relationship and guidance memos.
The four core mission areas of the water management districts are: (1) water supply, (2) water quality, (3) flood protection and floodplain management, and (4) natural systems.
Among other responsibilities, there are primary ways that the water management districts implement these mission areas.
Water Supply. Where it determines that existing sources of water are not adequate to supply water for all existing and future reasonable-beneficial uses and to sustain the water resources and related natural systems for the planning period (20 years), a district develops a Regional Water Supply Plan setting forth projects, costs and projections over a 20-year period that are needed to meet all existing and future reasonable-beneficial uses and to sustain the water resources and related natural systems. The districts are also proud to cost-share the implementation of many of those projects.
Water Quality. The districts perform a significant amount of water quality monitoring and assessment. For waterbodies within their regions, the districts construct or help fund the construction of water quality projects to benefit our state’s waterbodies. In addition, the districts administer regulatory programs designed to achieve the protection of the state’s water quality.
Flood Protection and Floodplain Management. The districts construct, operate and maintain flood protection structures throughout their region to prevent increases in flooding events.
Natural Systems. The districts evaluate and protect natural systems through the implementation of the Minimum Flows and Levels program and through reservations of water.
Regulatory programs delegated to the districts include programs to manage the consumptive use of water, well construction, and environmental resource permitting. In their annual budgets, the districts must reflect these core mission areas. For more on district budgets, click here.
For more information on each district, you may want to visit their website:
Northwest Florida Water Management District
Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson (western half), Leon, Liberty, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Wakulla, Walton & Washington
81 Water Management Drive Havana, FL 32333 850-539-5999
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.