Got Maps?

GIS data and various maps are available to the public on our online GIS Mapping Portal located on the top menu bar under the tab Resources. On the portal you will find maps and information on LWDD’s boundaries, canals, water control structures, permits and maintenance activities. If you cannot find what you are looking for, contact us at 561-498-5363 or email info@lwdd.net.

LWDD’s Role In Water Conservation

Florida is fortunate to receive over 50 inches of rainfall a year on average. Most of that amount is concentrated during the six-month rainy season (May through October). While some of the runoff from these rains is discharged to the ocean to avoid flooding, a significant amount soaks into the ground and recharges the freshwater aquifers that supply our drinking water wellfields, lakes and wetlands.

For large populations of people to live safely in south Florida, a massive regional water management system is required to balance the water supply needs of urban areas and water uses of agriculture against the requirement to maintain flood protection. If we did not provide adequate drainage to the region, human health and safety would be jeopardized and extensive property damage could occur. Similarly, if regional groundwater levels were not properly maintained, wellfields would be unable to deliver water to our homes and businesses, or worse yet, the underground inland migration of salt water from the ocean could permanently contaminate the drinking water supply rendering it unsafe for potable uses.

Water conservation efforts by the LWDD help mitigate some of the water supply issues our region experiences. The large network of LWDD canals plays a critical role in conservation by maintaining groundwater levels which in turn supports the water levels in lakes, ponds and wetlands across the region. During dry periods, groundwater levels tend to slowly fall in response to low rain and high evaporation. When this occurs, water managers in the region look to large regional storage areas like the Water Conservation Areas in the Everglades or to Lake Okeechobee as a source of supplemental water. Water from these sources is released into the canal network to raise the level of water in the canals. This water in turn seeps through the sandy soils to recharge the groundwater and returns the water table to its normal elevation thus helping to protect drinking water supplies.

The LWDD’s efforts, to manage drainage canals at appropriate elevations to balance water supply needs and avoid ocean discharges when possible, plays a key role in comprehensive water conservation for South Florida.

LWDD’s Employee Of The Year

Employee awarded for excellence

Vickie Demerski has been chosen by her peers as the Employee of the Year for 2017. Ms. Demerski has been with the District for 30 years and currently holds the position of Executive Assistant in the Field Operations Department.

During normal District operations, Ms. Demerski tracks maintenance requests and complaints from the public. She documents each call and transmits the information to the appropriate staff for investigation. Upon completion, she closes the service request and documents the outcome, ensuring that the public’s concerns are addressed. Ms. Demerski often deals with anxious or disgruntled callers, but treats all callers with respect, patience and a little bit of humor. Many residents have expressed how friendly and helpful she is, even if they did not get the answer they were hoping for.

Ms. Demerski also plays an important role in emergency response. During major storm events, she takes calls from the public notifying the District of potential flood hazards.  If needed, she willingly works after business hours answering calls and providing critical information to field crews.

Ms. Demerski possesses an extensive knowledge of the District’s canal system and demonstrates a willingness to help her co-workers whenever needed. Her excellent interaction with residents assists not only staff members in the Field Operations Department but other departments such as Public Outreach and Right-of-Way Compliance.

Policy Revisions That May Affect You

Policy changes to Docks, Davits and Boat Lifts provides improved flood control

As the agency responsible for local flood control, the District utilizes a Right-of-Way (ROW) Permitting program to manage its water resources and ensure proper stormwater drainage and unencumbered access to canal rights-of-way.

The ROW Permit is a revocable license granted to a permittee to occupy or utilize the District’s right-of-way. Boat docks are one example of a ROW Permit. The District may revoke a ROW Permit at any time, if determined to be in the best interest of the District’s flood control efforts. It is important for applicants to understand that any investment made in the right-of-way may be lost if the ROW Permit is revoked.

The personal use of the District’s right-of-way is a privilege and granted on a temporary basis to the permittee. The permittee is the person or entity to whom the right is granted. Only the person(s) or entities named on the face of the permit are authorized to use the right-of-way or make improvements that were constructed or installed in the right-of-way. For example, if you purchase a home with a dock in the canal, you are not authorized to use the dock until you transfer the permit into your own name. The rights of the permit are personal and are not automatically granted when a property is sold or transferred.

The District has a public duty to ensure that the canals perform in an optimal manner and ensure that uses within the canal and rights-of-way do not block the flow of water or create opportunities for storm debris to collect, causing the creation of a dam in the canal. For public safety reasons the District has modified its Operating Policy 3.6 regarding permits for docks, davits and boat lifts within its canal system. The modifications will mitigate risks to the District and the public as they pertain to flood control and emergency management, inefficiencies in the maintenance of the canal rights-of-way, and litigation/liability.

Highlights of the policy changes are:

  • Removal of the authorization for roofs on docks
  • Removal of the authorization for use of interlocking block revetment for erosion control
  • Revision to the allowable size of docks, davits, boat lifts
  • Limitations to location in canals and removal of non-compliant docks, davits, boat lifts
  • Requirement of proof of $300,000 general liability insurance

It is important for residents to understand these revisions are in place for their safety and those neighbors around them. Residents with a dock located adjacent to their property and with a non-compliant permit may have their permit revoked and be required to remove the structure. For more information or questions on the District’s Docks, Davits and Boat Lifts Policy, contact Shaughn Webb or Brian Tilles, P.E., at 561-498-5363 or email info@lwdd.net.