Where does the water go when it rains? South Florida is so flat that rainwater stays in place unless a path for drainage is provided. An interconnected system of regional (primary), local (secondary) and neighborhood (tertiary) canals and lakes allow rainwater to move from developed land to the ocean, controlled by a series of gates. The Water Management Division is responsible for four secondary canal systems in the northern part of the County. Much more information about drainage and flood protection can be found at
Know the Flow.
Water Control System
The Water Management Division is responsible for four secondary canal systems in the northern part of the County: Water Control District 2, Water Control District 3, Water Control District 4 and Cocomar. The four districts are interconnected and together make up the North Broward County Recharge System. The canals, gates and pump stations which make up these systems are shown on the WMD Infrastructure Map.
Canals and Lakes
Storm water is routed to nearby canals and lakes and stored in those water bodies. During excessive rains, control gates may be opened to prevent flooding and water will flow to the primary canals. Canals and lakes must be maintained to allow water to move through them. This may entail aquatic weed removal, bank restoration, dredging or other operations.
Development and Permitting
Any change which alters the flow of stormwater requires a license. “Surface Water Licenses” for areas within Cocomar, Water Control District 2, Water Control District 3 and Water Control District 4 are reviewed and issued by the Broward County Environmental Protection and
Storm Water Section.
Many plans for surface water licenses issued within the Water Management Division’s area of operations can be found on the Water Management WMD Infrastructure Map.
Changes to an existing development require a license modification.
Design standards are set forth in Chapter 27
of the Broward County Code. For site-specific criteria, please contact the Water Management Division.