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SJRWMD ranks 62 cooperative funding project applications

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PALATKA – The St. Johns River Water Management District's Governing Board on June 10 approved the ranking of 62 proposed projects that would help to develop traditional and alternative water supplies, conserve water and protect water quality in the District's priority water bodies. Another 10 proposed projects will be evaluated for funding through additional springs protection cost-share programs.

Proposals submitted by local governments, water supply utilities and other partners include reclaimed water projects, storm water or surface water treatment and enhancement projects, wastewater treatment plant upgrades, agricultural water management projects for water quality, alternative water supply development and water conservation enhancements.

The project ranking approved by the Governing Board helps to identify the highest priority projects to receive District cooperative funds in the next budget cycle, which begins Oct. 1. The Board will determine actual funding amounts during its consideration of the tentative fiscal year (FY) 2014-2015 budget at its July 8 meeting.

An estimated $13 million will be available through the District's FY 2014-2015 cost-share program. Other potential funding sources include state appropriations for St. Johns River and springs protection projects and the Tri-County Agricultural Area Water Management Partnership.

The qualified projects address one or more of the District's strategic initiatives, including water quality protection in the Indian River Lagoon, Northern Coastal Basin, and middle and lower St. Johns River basins. The proposed projects also benefit minimum flows and levels prevention and recovery and water supply initiatives in central and north Florida.

Implementation of these projects will further the water resource results being achieved through this year's cost-share program.