Cooperation and Coordination
The IWRP is a perfect example of local and regional
governments and water managers working together towards the same
goal. In all levels of water management, the most important goal is
to make sure that despite changing needs, demands, and policies,
clean water is delivered when it’s needed, and where it’s needed.
Coordination can be a challenge when there are so many
participants, and occasionally conflicting interests, but the
ultimate goal for all involved is to work together to protect our
water resources and to ensure the sustainability of the urban and
natural environments. We’re all working together to protect your
drinking water supplies, urban natural areas, the reefs and the
Everglades – perhaps South Florida’s greatest natural resource.
In Broward County, elected officials, water managers, and water
utilities are working together to find solutions to our water
challenges. The continued success of the IWRP will require
broad-based participation, as well as long-term coordination with
regional planning initiatives. The IWRP is dynamic and can evolve
with changing priorities and environments. However, to avoid a
constant state of flux and redirection, it is important that Broward
County adheres to the goals detailed earlier, such as making the
most of our water resources, diversifying our water supplies, and
perhaps most importantly, coordinating efforts. Local
partnerships have been and will continue to be an important
component in achieving successful IWRP implementation.
Broward’s IWRP is a partnership – government agencies and various
water committees have worked together to analyze, design, and
implement this 10-year Water Plan. As a resident or business owner
in Broward County, we want you to get involved in the process, as
Some of the partnerships that Broward County has already started
include the IWRP Grant Program, the NatureScape Irrigation Service, and the Broward Everglades Working Group, which will be discussed here.
IWRP Grant Program
Broward County has developed a grant program that provides
funding for implementing projects related to the IWRP. The County
has partnered with the South Florida Water Management District
(SFWMD) to provide funding on a 50/50 cost-share basis. The partner
provides 50% of the funding, while the SFWMD and the County each
Funding is available to support the feasibility analyses and
preliminary design aspects of proposed projects. It is anticipated
that recipients will seek funding assistance from the state during
the construction phase. Grant opportunities are provided
annually. Please call the Water Resources Division at
954-519-1464 for additional information.
NatureScape Irrigation Service
Broward County has launched a NatureScape Irrigation Service
(NIS), which is a conservation-based approach to reducing the amount
of water used for irrigation.
The NIS has been patterned after the State’s Mobile Irrigation
Lab (MIL) program. This conservation strategy has been identified as
one of the most effective means of reducing irrigation demands.
The irrigation service, funded in partnership with 21
local water utilities, is currently targeting large water users,
such as parks, schools, and homeowner associations, where the
greatest potential exists for significant water savings.
Irrigation specialists review the existing irrigation system
design and operations, measure system efficiencies, and quantify
current water consumption. After all, it doesn’t make sense to water
the driveway or sidewalk when other plants and trees aren’t getting
the water they need.
Irrigation specialists are also able to take water measurements
of the irrigation systems to determine if the water is going where
it needs to go. Property managers are then provided with
specific recommendations that may help reduce water consumption
through modifications to the system and possibly the landscape.
Since landscape design and plant selection ultimately drive
irrigation needs, technicians are also able to provide general
advice about what types of plants may be appropriate for a site.
They can then coordinate a more thorough landscape assessment
through the services of the NatureScape Broward program. The goal is to help
landscape professionals, maintenance personnel, and property
managers maintain their properties and irrigate in a smarter and
more cost-effective way.
After all of the information is collected, NIS operators use it
to determine the amount of water being consumed and estimate how
much water could be saved by implementing some easy and inexpensive
water-saving strategies. Oftentimes all that is needed is a little
Similar irrigation system evaluations are available for Broward
County residents through the Broward Soil and Water Conservation
District. For more information, simply call them at 954-584-1306.
You’ll see the water savings add up! And, the service is free, so
why not give them a call today?
Regional Activities: LECRWSP and CERP
Successful implementation of the IWRP depends on policy
integration at the local, state, and federal levels. The IWRP is
regularly updated to reflect changes in policy and planning
strategies, and ongoing coordination with regional water management
plans is essential. While the IWRP focuses on Broward County’s water
management challenges for the next ten years, it also ties in to two
longer-term regional water management plans: the Lower East Coast
Regional Water Supply Plan (LECRWSP) and the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP).
The LECRWSP that was completed in 2000 included three
recommendations that support the County’s IWRP:
Northern Broward County Secondary Canals Recharge Network: To
ensure that water levels in Broward’s canal system are consistently
maintained throughout the year, whether it’s rainy or dry.
Southeast Broward County Interconnect Water Supply System: To
encourage more efficient use of local water resources through
utility sharing agreements.
Broward County Urban Environmental Enhancements: To ensure that
the quality of Broward’s natural systems is improved through
The updated LECRWSP is expected to be completed by the end of
2006. The County recognizes that the strategies laid out in
the LECRWSP will not only support local water management goals, but
will also improve the quality and quantity of water in the
Broward County is also involved with several CERP projects:
including the Broward Water Preserve Area and the Broward County
Secondary Canal Improvement Project.
As part of the CERP, the Broward County Secondary Canal
Improvement Project is a water management project designed to take
some of the pressure off the regional system by using local rainfall
and secondary canals to recharge wellfields. This will make more
water available for Everglades restoration.
The U.S. Congress, State of Florida, and local government
agencies are funding the project. Broward County would like to
expand the CERP project to include a more expansive network of
interconnected canals throughout the County. Such an approach to
water management will also improve the benefits to the CERP. The
increase in groundwater recharge will help reduce groundwater coming
from the Everglades into Broward County, while the increase in
surface water storage capacity will improve water quality
As you can see from the partnerships mentioned above, water
management takes cooperation and coordination – at all levels. Local
governments, utilities, and water managers must all be on the same
page. The IWRP provides an avenue for local and regional governments
to work together to achieve the same goal – ensuring a high quality
and abundant water supply for everyone.
The Lower East Coast Water Supply Plan is updated approximately every five years. The 2013 Lower East Coast Water Supply Plan Update is the most recent version.