The Everglades restoration plan includes several projects located in Broward County, including the Broward Water Preserve Area (WPA) and the Broward County Secondary Canal Improvement Project.
These projects are designed to improve the quality of wetlands, reduce seepage from the Everglades, improve water quality, and provide urban water supply. The projects will also help recharge the aquifer and prevent saltwater intrusion.
Currently, the discharge of stormwater from our urban areas is required in order to maintain flood protection in western Broward County communities. However, this practice has resulted in damage to natural systems like the Everglades. When complete, the Broward WPA will dramatically reduce discharges of urban stormwater to the Everglades system. In a related effort, Broward County government is working with the state, local governments, and others to develop and implement a plan to reduce pollution by improving the quality of urban runoff.
The Broward County Secondary Canal Improvement Project may help reduce the County's reliance on the Everglades system for urban water supply - making more water available for restoration efforts. The County has included secondary canal improvement projects as a major component in its long - term water supply plan - the County - wide Integrated Water Resource Plan (IWRP). The region's natural systems will benefit greatly from the County's investments in these projects.
It is clear that Broward is committed to restoring the Everglades and protecting the region's water supply.
Thirty years seems like a long time to wait for the beautiful and natural ecosystems of South Florida to be restored and replenished, but undoing more than 100 years of man-made damage is not an easy feat. Though the majority of the work will be done through large projects funded by the federal, state, and local governments, and the SFWMD, it is important to realize that this plan is for all of us. By "knowing the flow" and understanding how we affect our water management system, we can facilitate the process, help restore and enhance the natural beauty of our region, and ensure the availability of water for years to come.