The Lake Worth Drainage District’s water management system – with approximately 500 miles of canals and 20 major water control structures – helps to protect regional water supplies for more than 700,000 residents and several thousand acres of agricultural land. The District’s canal network is operated to provide ground water recharge to prevent saltwater intrusion for numerous municipal water utilities. During normal operations, canal water levels are maintained to hold water higher than sea level in order to prevent salt water from encroaching and polluting existing fresh water wells.
The C-51 Reservoir Project is a public private project being explored by water utilities and water supply authorities for use as an alternative water supply source for southeast Florida utilities.
The C-51 Reservoir Project is an existing rock mine located in western Palm Beach County, north of the C-51 canal in Palm Beach County and adjacent to the South Florida Water Management District’s L-8 Reservoir. The C-51 Reservoir has the ability to capture excess surface water from the L-8 and C-51 basins during wet times and release stored water to maintain flows in the canal systems during dry times, serving as a potential supplemental source of regional water.
Significant benefits of the project include:
- Improved environmental benefits for the Lake Worth Lagoon
- Substantially lower-cost alternative water supply option for Lower East Coast utilities
- Option for addressing sea level rise and salt water intrusion threats
- Increased flood protection to the western C-51 Basin area
The Lake Worth Drainage District’s canals and infrastructure are optimally located to deliver these benefits. The District continues to partner with the South Florida Water Management District, Palm Beach and Broward Counties and regional public water supply utilities to assess the feasibility of a reservoir in the C-51 basin.
South Florida’s water is a precious, limited resource that should be saved whenever possible. Water conservation is a key link between balancing current and future water needs. Just as abundant water gives vitality to the region, a lack of water strains natural resources, stifles economic growth and periodically disrupts our daily routines. As Florida’s population increases, so does the need for all residents to conserve.
Saving water is easy and economical. For tips on saving water, visit the South Florida Water Management District website.
To promote responsible water use and protect our valuable water resources, Palm Beach County observes the South Florida Water Management District’s Year-Round Landscape Irrigation Conservation Measures Rule. Landscape irrigation is restricted to three days a week before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
Several municipalities within the Lake Worth Drainage District’s jurisdictional boundaries have adopted their own, more stringent water and irrigation conservation ordinances. Please check with your local municipality for their specific water use rules.
For additional information on current water restrictions, visit the South Florida Water Management District website.