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Broward Officials Learn and Lead

Two significant initiatives were launched in the Fall that serve to strengthen collaborative approaches to addressing water resources issues in Broward County ; the Broward Water Resources Task Force (WRTF) and the Broward Leaders Water Academy (BLWA).

Water Resources Task Force

The kick-off event for the WRTF was held on September 19, 2008 at the Broward County Government Center West. The event brought together 59 elected municipal, county and state officials, water managers, business leaders and technical experts to begin the process of evaluating the potential for subregional and regional water resource solutions to benefit Broward County . The idea for the WRTF was formed following a joint meeting on May 12, 2008 of the Broward County Board of County Commissioners , Broward municipal elected officials and members of the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board to discuss water supply issues and challenges. The WRTF was subsequently established pursuant to adoption of enabling resolutions by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners , the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board, and the Broward League of Cities. The mission of the WRTF is:

To work collaboratively to identify and evaluate potential regional and sub-regional water supply strategies and solutions of appropriate water quality to meet countywide future water resource needs and water conservation goals and to meet the objectives of the enabling resolutions.

The WRTF consists of 15 elected officials and is supported by a Technical Team of 21 members including utility managers, state and local agency staff, and private sector appointees. Chairing the WRTF is Shannon Estenoz , Governing Board Member of the South Florida Water Management District. Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs will serve as Vice Chair. During the September 19 event, Dr. Jennifer Jurado, Director of the Natural Resources Planning and Management Division, delivered an “Overview of Broward County Water Resources.” The presentation included a review of recent water policy, implications for water supply planning, an overview of traditional water resource management in Broward County , and factors contributing to the constraints experienced today. She highlighted several of the issues that the WRTF would be exploring in greater detail as part of subsequent meetings, and encouraged additional consideration of some of the basic assumptions upon which the most recent demand projections had been based.

The WRTF and Technical Team will meet monthly over the course of the next year to discuss a variety of issues ranging from reviewing current water demands and infrastructure, growth projections, water conservation, experiences with multi-jurisdictional efforts in Florida and elsewhere, and various alternatives to meet our future water resource needs.

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Broward Leaders Water Academy

meeting room with people in itLois WexlerOn October 3, 2008 , Broward County Mayor Lois Wexler provided opening remarks and a welcome to 45 participants who attended the launching of the Broward Leaders Water Academy (BLWA). The BLWA was developed as a collaborative effort between Broward County Natural Resources Planning and Management Division and the South Florida Water Management District to provide local elected officials and business leaders with a better understanding of the County's water resource challenges facing our community, our responsibilities, and opportunities. The BLWA consists of a series of seminars and site visits that will outline recent changes in regional water policy, implications for growth, and alternative strategies for developing a high-quality, sustainable water supply for local citizens and businesses, while protecting the environment. Topics for discussion include the essential link between water supply development, water management and the protection of water resources and economic vitality. During the first session of the BLWA, interagency experts in the field of water resource management and policy provided presentations that included an overview of Broward County water resources, how water control systems work, the basics of current and future water supply options, challenges of developing sustainable water supplies for the County and a water and wastewater utility perspective on water supply and pricing and water policy and the environment.

Broward Officials Tour Reclaimed Water Facilities

Pompano Beach Treatment PlantOver 45 elected officials, business leaders and environmental professionals were treated to a unique learning opportunity on November 7 as part of the Broward Water Resources Task Force and Broward Leaders Water Academy . Tours of two local reclaimed water facilities were provided, with the first being at the Pompano Beach Reuse Wastewater Treatment Facility on N. Federal Highway . Led by Pompano Beach Utilities Director Randy Brown and his staff, participants scaled stairways and traversed catwalks to see the various components of the system, as well as tour the control rooms to hear from facility experts about the various steps in the treatment process.

tour groupThe group then traveled to the East Central Regional Wastewater Regional Wastewater Reclamation Facility in West Palm Beach for a tour lead by Executive Manager Joseph Carlini and his staff. The tours provided participants with an understanding of how reclaimed water facilities operate and the potential uses of reclaimed water.

On December 5, 2008 , Task Force members and Academy participants will visit the Water Conservation Areas on the edge of the Everglades and take an airboat tour to gain insight on the Everglades ecosystem and to learn about current restoration efforts. Local water control structures that are critical to drainage and flood control operations will also be toured so participants can learn about stormwater management protocols and challenges, and the connection between the quality of urban runoff and adjacent natural systems.

Broward County and SFWMD Team Up on Everglades Education

Critical to the restoration of the Everglades is curbing the introduction of pollutant-laden stormwater runoff. Of particular concern are segments of the County that discharge, or have the potential to discharge, to the Everglades, including C-11 West Basin, North New River Canal Basin and the North Springs Improvement District. As part of a strategy to further source controls on phosphorus in Broward County , a variety of outreach tools will be developed and made available under a new agreement between the County and the SFWMD. This includes information and workshops on effective maintenance of stormwater management systems, turf and landscape BMPs, golf course BMPs and other pollution prevention and water conservation practices and information. These tools are an extension of the County's nationally recognized and award winning public education and outreach programs including Water Matters, Know-the-Flow and Naturescape Broward. Under the agreement, Broward County homeowners, homeowner associations, landscape service providers, and local government employees residing and doing business in these and adjoining basins will be educated about the importance of water conservation and water pollution prevention in their homes, yards, and communities.

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Environmental Stewardship Taught at County Middle Schools

Under a partnership agreement between the Broward County Natural Resources Planning and Management Division and the School Board of Broward County, a number of “Florida-friendly” native landscapes were developed during the past quarter at middle schools throughout the County. Students, teachers and grounds maintenance staff were provided lessons and training in NatureScape Broward principles, water conservation, native landscaping, and landscape best management practices. To date, 8 environmental landscapes have been created at County schools and over 200 teachers and custodial staff have participated in School Board-approved training sessions. Over 1,500 Broward County students have directly participated in lessons designed to raise their consciousness of the importance of environmental stewardship. As the School Board is one of the larger landowners in Broward County , this partnership presents a fantastic opportunity to both positively impact a large amount of land and provide training.

Millions of Gallons Saved Through County NIS

The Broward NatureScape Irrigation Service is staffed with trained irrigation specialists who evaluate the effectiveness of irrigation systems and make recommendations for operational and design improvements, with the aim of improving system efficiency and saving water. These improvements can result in a huge savings of water, energy, time and money for the user. Improved irrigation efficiency can also help reduce fertilizer waste and improve landscape and turf appearance while minimizing water runoff that often contaminates our surface waters. Over 155 million g allons of water were saved through FY ‘08 by users implementing NIS recommendations.

Hydrologic Modeling for Saltwater Intrusion Complete

Broward County and the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) have completed the development of a saltwater intrusion model for northern Broward County . The model will be used to understand the interrelationships of factors such as rainfall on pumping and sea level rise that affect saltwater intrusion into the County's groundwater sources and how saltwater intrusion might be mitigated through water resources management operations. The model will help guide future water resource planning and management.  Plans are underway to develop similar models for central and southern Broward County .

Upcoming Events

Broward Water Resource Task Force

Joint WRTF/Technical Team Meetings: December 12, 2008, January 09, 2009 and February 06, 2009, 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM , Broward County Govt. Ct. West, 1 North University Drive, 2 nd Floor Hearing Room, Plantation, FL.

Broward Leaders Water Academy

Wrap-up Discussion on Water Policy and the coming legislative session, February 13, 2009, 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM .

Know-the-Flow Seminar Series

Sessions are held monthly, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM at different locations throughout Broward County – This free, four-part course provides an overview of water management with a specific emphasis on what residents and property managers can do to manage and conserve water resources. Half-day classes include topics related to South Florida's natural history, managing South Florida 's water, managing your neighborhood water management system and NatureScape landscape best management practices. The course provides opportunities for licensed community association manag ers and landscape professionals to earn continuing education credits. For more information and to pre-register, contact Ali Asif at (954) 519-1222.

Broward Water Advisory Board

Joint Water Advisory Board/Technical Advisory Committee Meeting, January 15, 2009, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM , Broward County Govt. Ct., 115 South Andrews Avenue, Room 430, Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Technical Advisory Committee Meetings, December 19, 2008 and February 20, 2009, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM , Broward County Govt. Ct. West, 1 North University Drive, 2nd Floor Hearing Room, Plantation, FL.

Unless otherwise noted, for more information on the above articles and events, please contact Toni Edwards at , 954-519-0356.

Winter' 08 Newsletter (PDF)

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