All of Florida’s freshwater bodies are managed on a state and regional level. Each region has their own water management district that is responsible for managing water supply, monitoring water quality, constructing and maintaining flood protection structures and protecting natural systems.

What’s going on

In Florida, water is publicly owned, so properly managing it is everyone’s responsibility. In Florida, water management is complex, and sometimes the water needs of humans and the natural environment clash. It is a policy of the current Legislature that Florida’s water resources be managed on a state and regional level. The Department of Environmental Protection supervises five water management districts throughout the state. Each district is responsible for the administration of water resources. The districts include:

  • The Northwest Florida Water Management District  
  • The Suwannee River Management District  
  • The St Johns River Water Management District  
  • The Southwest Florida Management District  
  • The South Florida Management District 

Why it matters

Florida has over 7,000 lakes and nearly 1,700 rivers and streams. These freshwater bodies support Florida’s agriculture, residents and its natural environment. Each district focuses on four main areas: 

  • Water supply
  • Water quality
  • Flood protection and floodplain management
  • Natural systems W

What you can do

Learn more 

Information from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, UF Thompson Earth Systems Institute, and the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.