The Five-Year Water Resource Development Work Program (Work Program) is part of the District’s annual budget reporting process required under Section 373.536, Florida Statutes (F.S.). The Work Program describes the District’s implementation strategy and five-year funding plan for the water resource and water supply development components of the approved Regional Water Supply Plan (RWSP). The District provides a proposed Work Program to the Department of Environmental Protection for review within 30 days of adoption of the District’s annual budget (typically in late September/early October). The final Work Program is published in the District’s Consolidated Annual Report by March 1st. The Work Program includes a comprehensive discussion of the water resource development “data collection and analyses” activities and more narrowly defined “projects” that the District is financially and technically undertaking to enhance the amount of water available to meet projected demands.
The District’s “data collection and analyses” activities provide the information required to understand and support the development of water supplies. These activities include hydrologic data collection and investigations, the Watershed Management Program, the Quality of Water Improvement Program, and the Minimum Flows and Levels Program.
The water resource development “projects” are defined as regional projects designed to create, from traditional or alternative sources, an identifiable, quantifiable supply of water for existing and/or future reasonable beneficial uses. These projects include the FARMS initiative which helps to offset agricultural groundwater withdrawals and improve surface water quality, aquifer recharge investigations to supplement resources and help alleviate salt water intrusion into coastal aquifers, and hydrogeologic investigations of the Lower Floridan aquifer in Polk County to appraise its viability as a future resource.
Since 2012, the F.S. has required the Work Program to include an assessment of the District’s “water supply development assistance” projects. Water supply development projects are developed primarily by regional water supply authorities, local governments, and privately owned water utilities, but qualify for financial assistance under the District’s policies and Section 373.705, F.S. These projects typically include reclaimed water infrastructure, water conservation projects such as indoor plumbing and irrigation improvements, and potable water supply projects such as regional interconnects and alternative water supply treatment facilities. The District is committed to cooperatively funding water supply development projects to ensure adequate water resources are available to meet existing and future reasonable-beneficial uses