homes on a canal

Your Question Answered

Q:  I live on an LWDD canal, can I purchase additional footage behind my home?

A:  LWDD canal rights-of-way are typically not for sale. Minimum right-of-way boundaries must be maintained to provide sufficient access for routine and emergency maintenance of canals and flood control infrastructure.

Chapter 4, Section 4.5, Lake Worth Drainage District Right-of-Way Operating Policies, states LWDD wishes to retain its current ownership, or other right-of-way interest(s), unless releasing this interest(s) would benefit LWDD in terms of liability, ease of maintenance, or other such benefit.

That said, where eligible right-of-way interest(s), either fee simple ownership or easement, has been requested to be purchased by an adjacent property owner and determined by LWDD to exceed LWDD’s minimum requirements for canal maintenance and operations, right-of-way may be purchased only if approved by the LWDD Board of Supervisors. On a case-by-case basis, LWDD Board will consider selling LWDD right-of-way determined to be in excess of LWDD right-of-way requirements for the specific canal.

In summary, LWDD may consider selling additional right-of-way interest, either fee simple ownership or easement, behind a property if it exceeds the LWDD’s minimum requirements for canal maintenance and operations and if the sale would benefit both parties. The decision would be made on a case-by-case basis by the LWDD Board of Supervisors.

New to the area and concerned about a water shortage?

Welcome to the Sunshine State! You join more than 1,000 people moving to Florida each day so it’s crucial to recognize the importance of water conservation. Water is a limited resource in Florida, and every individual plays a role in its protection. Whether you’re a homeowner or part of a community, the decisions you make regarding landscaping choices, lawn watering practices, and overall water usage can have a significant impact.

Despite South Florida receiving approximately 53 inches of rainfall annually, our unpredictable weather patterns can lead to rapid shifts from saturation to drought conditions. Water conservation efforts are essential to ensure a consistent and reliable water supply throughout the year.

The increasing population in Florida inevitably leads to rising demands. Currently, the average person in Florida uses approximately 128 gallons of water per day. With more people moving to the area, this demand is expected to continue growing. Projections indicate that by 2040, Florida will require approximately 4.1 billion gallons of water per day to meet the needs of its residents and stakeholders.

Managing this growing demand for water presents significant challenges, especially considering the state’s limited freshwater resources and the need to balance environmental conservation with human needs. To address this issue effectively, sustainable water management practices, including conservation measures and efficient use of existing water sources, will be crucial in ensuring a reliable water supply for Florida’s future.

By adopting smart water conservation practices at home, you can contribute to the overall effort to conserve water resources. Here are some ways you can make a difference:

  1. Florida-Friendly Landscaping: Designing and maintaining landscapes that are adapted to Florida’s climate and soil conditions can reduce the need for water, fertilizer, pesticides, and maintenance. Using native plants, drought-tolerant species, and incorporating efficient irrigation techniques are key components of Florida-Friendly™
  2. Routine Irrigation System Checks: Regularly inspecting and maintaining your irrigation system ensures it operates efficiently, minimizing water waste. This includes checking for leaks, adjusting sprinkler heads to prevent overspray or runoff, and programming irrigation schedules based on weather conditions and plant needs.
  3. Adhering to Water Restrictions: Following local water restrictions and regulations helps manage water usage effectively, especially during periods of high demand or drought. These restrictions may include specific days or times for watering, limitations on outdoor water use, and prohibitions on certain practices that waste water.
  4. Conserve Water Indoors: Regularly inspect faucets, pipes, and toilets for leaks, and promptly repair any leaks you find; only run the dishwasher and washing machine when you have full loads; take shorter showers; and turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing dishes by hand.

Remember, you can play a proactive role in conserving water and protecting Florida’s precious water resources for future generations!

stormwater pond graphic

“My lake is drier than it’s ever been. . . “

Your community’s lake or pond is actually a stormwater management pond. A stormwater management pond is an engineered structure built to gather surface water runoff (rainfall) from rooftops, lands, and roads. The pond temporarily stores water and then releases it to an LWDD drainage canal at a controlled rate until the designed water elevation in the pond is achieved.

During Florida’s dry season, which typically spans from October to May, the water levels in these ponds can drop significantly. This natural fluctuation can expose sandy banks and reduce the pond’s capacity for uses like lawn irrigation. Since stormwater ponds primarily rely on rainfall for replenishment and can’t be refilled using water from the LWDD canal system, these conditions are likely to persist until sufficient rainfall occurs.

During the dry season when water levels are lower, is an opportune time for communities to conduct thorough inspections and maintenance of their drainage infrastructure. Here are some essential steps for ensuring a well-maintained drainage system:

  • Keep swale areas clear. Regularly remove debris and vegetation from swale areas and ensure they are mowed regularly. This helps prevent blockages and allows for efficient water flow.
  • Clear street drains: Remove any trash or debris that may have accumulated in street drains to prevent blockages and ensure proper drainage during rainfall events.
  • Inspect discharge points/outfalls: Regularly inspect discharge points or outfalls into LWDD canals to ensure they are clear of obstructions and functioning properly. This helps maintain the flow of water from stormwater management ponds into the LWDD canal system.
  • Inspect underground drainage pipes: Schedule inspections of underground drainage pipes every three to five years to identify any potential issues such as leaks, cracks, or blockages. Addressing these issues promptly can prevent costly repairs and ensure the effectiveness of the drainage system.
  • Exercise discharge control structures: Periodically open and close operable discharge control structures to ensure they are functioning correctly. This helps prevent rust or corrosion buildup and ensures they are operational when needed.
  • Visually inspect fixed discharge control structures: Regularly inspect fixed discharge control structures for signs of structural damage or potential blockages. Address any issues promptly to maintain the integrity and effectiveness of the drainage system.

By following these maintenance practices, communities can ensure their drainage infrastructure remains in optimal condition, minimizing the risk of flooding and ensuring efficient water management during both wet and dry seasons.

stormwater pond graphic

Rain flows down from a roof down

Helpful Information to Pass Along to Your Communities

According to the most recent US census data, Palm Beach County’s estimated 2024 population is 1,548,985 making it the fourth most populous county in Florida. LWDD’s videos and fact sheets library help educate homeowners, especially those new to our unique stormwater drainage system, on the community’s role in flood protection. Check out these resources for more information.
group of people at event

Walking to Honor Survivors & Loved Ones

LWDD joined thousands participating in the Susan G. Komen More Than Pink Walk in West Palm Beach. The LWDD team raised almost $1,700 towards the fight to cure breast cancer. We met each other’s family and friends, enjoyed each other’s company, and cheered, honored, and hoped for those affected by this disease.