North Central Florida gets $6.2M in funding for alternative water supply projects

Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 2:38 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - North Central Florida is getting more than $6.2 million to fund six alternative water supply projects aimed at reducing demand on the Florida Aquifer.

The state has approved the projects requested by the Suwannee River Water Management District Governing Board to develop water sources that offer an alternative to the traditional ground and surface water sources.

The $6.2 million will be split between six projects:

  • $220,000 for the Alachua County, Environmental Protection Department’s “Reducing Impacts from Urban Landscapes” project. The money will be used to tune up irrigation systems of high-water users and offer rebates for water-saving irrigation benefits.
  • $750,000 for Gainesville Regional Utilities’ “GRU Deerhaven/Deerhaven Renewable Water Sharing Project.” The funding will include piping between power plants to reduce groundwater withdrawal among other improvements.
  • $409,650 to the City of Lawtey for the “Lawtey Water Main Replacements” project. The city will replace leaking water mains on the water distribution system which is more than 40 years old. The money is contingent on the city receiving a State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan.
  • $724,220 to the City of Archer for the “Archer Water Systems Improvement Project.” The city will replace piping, hydrants, and valves to fix leaks and breaks. The project is expected to save more than 2,000 gallons of water per day.
  • $2.1 million for the Suwannee River Water Management District’s “Dispersed Storage for Recharge and Alternative Water Supply” project. The money will be used to evaluate methods that enhance the beneficial use of stormwater.
  • $2 million for the Suwannee River Water Management District “Eco-System Services” project. The money will be used to evaluate silviculture practices to develop options to improve water yield.

“The Suwannee Valley is facing unprecedented pressure for fresh, clean water as population and development grows,” said Hugh Thomas, executive director of the District. “This funding from the Governor, Legislature, and FDEP illustrates a continued commitment to keep North Florida natural.”

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