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Water Resources for Florida Agriculture
Water Resources for Florida AgricultureThe Suwannee River Water Management District (District) offers both regulatory and non-regulatory, incentive-based programs to help the agriculture community in their efforts to be good stewards of our regional water resources. The resources include rivers, lakes, springs, groundwater, estuaries and wetlands.

The District shares regulatory responsibilities with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and other state and local governments. The District also partners with many agencies, organizations and interest groups to provide financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers.

Agricultural Assistance Team

Technician Sampling Wastewater The District's "Ag Team" is available to help agricultural operations needing assistance with water use (WUPs) and environmental resource (ERPs) permits, compliance issues, best management practices, cost share and other matters. The Ag Team helps to simplify and streamline the permit process and helps ensure that growers are able to comply with total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) and Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs) established by FDEP.

Ag Team Contacts:
Kevin Wright (District),
Sarah Luther (District),
Hugh Thomas (Suwannee River Partnership),
Joel Love (Suwannee River Partnership),
Phone 386.362.1001 or 800.226.1066 (FL only).

Permits

Water Use Permits (WUPs) are required for any agricultural water withdrawals or diversions. Visit our Water Use Permit page for more information.

Persons may qualify for a Minor Water Use Permit by Rule if certain criteria are met such as if the average daily use is less than 100,000 gallons per day and maximum daily use is less than 250,000 gallons per day, water is withdrawn from a single well 4 inches in diameter or smaller, and the water is not transported across water management district boundaries. (See Chapter 40B-2.041, F.A.C. for all criteria.)

Environmental Resource Permits (ERPs) are required for poultry operations, culverts, construction of barns and sheds, and other agriculture and forestry activities. Visit our Environmental Resource Permit page for more information.

Best Management Practices

Best management practices (BMPs) are practical, cost-effective actions that agricultural producers can take to benefit water quality and water conservation while maintaining or even enhancing agricultural production. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) develops and adopts BMPs for different types of agricultural operations.

Basin Management Action Plans/BMAP Cost Share

Online resources from other water management districts:

Cost-Share Programs

The District is committed to the protection of our water resources and ecology of North Florida.

The intent of the District's Agricultural cost-share programs is to offer funding assistance to agricultural producers, through an application and ranking process, to implement projects that increase irrigation efficiency and water conservation and assist with nutrient management technology.

Currently, the Governing Board has approved six rounds' worth of District and BMAP cost-share funds. The following is a summary of anticipated results:

Fiscal Year 12/13 Anticipated Results Funded by the District & BMAP Cost-Share Funds:
Funds: $2,438,300 obligated
Total irrigation systems to retrofit: 164
Total water savings: ~9.3 million gallons per day.*
Total nitrogen reduced: 1,360,000 pounds.*

Fiscal Year 13/14 Anticipated Results Funded by the District & BMAP Cost-Share Funds:
Funds: $734,875 obligated
Total irrigation systems to retrofit: 60
Total water savings: ~3.55 million gallons per day.*
Total nitrogen reduced: 268,000 pounds.*
*based on estimations

For information about about cost-share programs within the District, please view our cost-share page.