ICYMI: Governor Ron DeSantis Highlights Investments to Strengthen Florida’s Commitment to Conserving our Natural Resources

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CONTACT: DEP Press Office, 850-245-2112, DEPNews@FloridaDEP.gov

In Case You Missed It: Governor Ron DeSantis Highlights Investments to Strengthen Florida’s Commitment to Conserving our Natural Resources 

~ The Governor also awards $60 Million for Alternative Water Supply Projects ~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. This week, Governor Ron DeSantis highlighted investments to continue to strengthen Florida’s natural resources, announcing his commitment to signing $1.5 billion for Everglades and water quality, making investments in the Florida Wildlife Corridor, and strengthening Florida’s infrastructure. Today, the Governor is announcing the award of $60 million in alternative water supply funding for 12 projects that will make available more than 28 million gallons of potable water each day. Alternative Water Supply Grants fund projects such as reclaimed water, aquifer recharge, and water conservation.

“Florida’s environment plays an important role in our economy and the Florida way of life, and I am proud of the work we have done to conserve it,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Through our record investments in our natural resources, we are leaving this state better to God than we found it.”

Governor DeSantis started the week by announcing his commitment to signing $1.5 billion for Everglades and water quality improvements in the budget for Fiscal Year 2024-25. This funding brings Florida’s total investment in Everglades restoration and water quality improvements to a record-breaking $6.5 billion since Governor DeSantis took office in 2019. The Governor also highlighted $100 million appropriated for the Florida Wildlife Corridor in Senate Bill 1638 and signed House Bill 1565, to continue to support the Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative. Finally, the Governor highlighted investments in strengthening and fortifying Florida’s infrastructure. This included signing Senate Bill 7028 and House Bill 1029 to provide $200 million in funding for the My Safe Florida Home Program and to create the My Safe Florida Condominium Pilot Program.

“Planning for Florida’s future water needs necessitates a collaborative, balanced approach to ensure adequate water supplies for future generations,” said DEP Secretary Shawn Hamilton. “These projects are a prime example of state and local governments coming together to protect Florida’s water resources now and in the future.”

Alternative water supplies help Florida protect its natural systems while meeting our growing needs. Since 2019, Florida has invested $190 million in state funding to support the statewide development of alternative water supplies. This commitment has resulted in the state advancing more than 90 projects, which are anticipated to produce more than 206 million gallons per day when fully online. Included in the Fiscal Year 2024-25 budget is $55 million for the Alternative Water Supply Grant Program to help communities plan for and implement vital conservation, reuse and other alternative water supply projects. Projects receiving funding through the Alternative Water Supply Grant Program include:

  • $13 million for a brackish groundwater treatment facility being developed by the Polk Regional Water Cooperative. Project components include a reverse osmosis facility, brackish water wellfield and concentrate disposal wells that will initially provide 7.5 million gallons per day followed by incremental increases up to 12.5 million gallons per day.
  • $10 million for the Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority who is working to complete the development of the Peace River Reservoir No. 3 and associated interconnects, which will couple with a future treatment facility expansion project to meet regional demands in the Southern Water Use Caution Area.
  • $2.9 million for the City of Niceville for the reclaimed water main extension in the Deer Moss Creek Subdivision. 
  • $2 million for the City of Oakland stormwater project, which will capture and treat stormwater flows before they reach Lake Apopka, then redirect the treated stormwater through an established irrigation-only network, which will ultimately serve the residential irrigation needs of approximately 1,000 residential homes.
  • $555,000 for numerous indoor and outdoor water conservation projects in the St. Johns River and South Florida Water Management Districts.

A list of all projects selected for Fiscal Year 2023-24 funding can be found here.