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Posted on: September 14, 2022

Six alternative water supply projects receive more than $6.2 million in funding

LIVE OAK, FLA., SEPTEMBER 14, 2022 – More than $6.2 million in funding has been approved for six alternative water supply projects that will help strengthen water resources across North Florida.  

These projects are part of an effort to reduce water use from the Floridan Aquifer or to develop region-specific water sources that offer an alternative to traditional ground and surface water sources. Alternative water sources, such as reclaimed or recycled water, saltwater or brackish water, and storm water, also help to make communities less susceptible to the effects of drought. These water sources also diversify Florida’s water supply while reducing its dependence on fresh groundwater resources.   

The Board accepted these project funding requests earlier this year and sent them to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) for approval.  

“The Suwannee Valley is facing unprecedented pressure for fresh, clean water as population and development grows,” said Hugh Thomas, executive director of the District. “This funding from the Governor, Legislature, and FDEP illustrates a continued commitment to keep North Florida natural.”  

Projects include:  

  • Reducing Impacts from Urban Landscapes – Alachua County, Environmental Protection Department – $220,000 – This project will reduce outdoor water use through irrigation tune-ups to high-water users and offer rebates to implement water-saving irrigation retrofits.  
  • GRU Deerhaven/Deerhaven Renewable Water Sharing Project – Gainesville Regional Utilities – $750,000 – This project will include piping between power plants that will reduce groundwater withdrawal, overall water usage across sites, production costs, and landfill solid waste, while increasing system reliability.   
  • Lawtey Water Main Replacements – City of Lawtey – $409,650 – This project will replace leaking water mains on the City of Lawtey’s existing water distribution system, which is more than 40 years old. This funding is contingent upon the city receiving a State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan. 
  • Archer Water Systems Improvement Project – City of Archer – $724,220 – This project will replace piping, hydrants, and valves to fix leaks and breaks and is expected to save more than 2,000 gallons per day of water and reduce the amount of water needed to be pumped from the aquifer. This funding is contingent upon the city receiving a State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan. 
  • Dispersed Storage for Recharge and Alternative Water Supply – $2.1 million – Districtwide – The project builds on the ongoing feasibility analyses to evaluate methods that enhance the beneficial use of stormwater and could assist with enhanced recharge and/or implementation of retention ponds as a source for alternative water supply.  
  • Eco-System Services – $2 million – Districtwide – The project looks to evaluate silviculture practices to develop options to improve water yield, which will result in an increase of groundwater recharge. 

The mission of the Suwannee River Water Management District is to protect and manage water resources using science-based solutions to support natural systems and the needs of the public. The District holds true to the belief of water for nature, water for people. Headquartered in Live Oak, Florida, the District serves 15 surrounding north-central Florida counties. 

For more information about the District, visit www.MySuwanneeRiver.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter, search @SRWMD. 

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