Central & Southern Florida Flood Control System

The Central and Southern Florida (C&SF) Resiliency Study was included in the President’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. The President’s proposed budget directs the Army Corps to work with the South Florida Water Management District to begin review and “fast tracks” the process for the C&SF Resiliency Study. Designated participants of the Washington Summit Issues Team will focus advocacy efforts on thanking the Congressional delegation for their commitment to the C&SF Resilience Study. Depending on the budget timeline, the Issues Team designees may additionally advocate for the inclusion of the $500,000 in the President’s proposed budget for the C&SF Resiliency Study in the FY 2022 federal budget if the final budget has not yet been adopted for the year. Additionally, Issues Team members should educate the Congressional delegation on the timeline for completion of the C&SF Resiliency Study that will ultimately lead to construction.

The C&SF Project was first authorized by Congress in 1948. It is a multi-purpose civil works project that provides flood control, supplies water for municipal, industrial, and agricultural uses, prevents saltwater intrusion, supplies water for Everglades National Park, and protects fish and wildlife resources. The primary system includes about 1,000 miles of levees, 720 miles of canals, and almost 200 water control structures. Local governments and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) actively coordinate to support water management planning, operations, and investments.

The C&SF Project is now nearly 70 years beyond its original design, still serves as the central means for protecting the region’s 6 million residents from flooding. Meanwhile, region is dealing with changes in the physical environment including increased rainfall and sea level rise. A 2009 analysis by the SFWMD noted that 18 flood control structures were already with 6 inches of their design capacity. The Army Corps projects 8 inches of sea level rise by 2030 from 1992 levels.

The challenge is not just limited to Southeast Florida, as vulnerabilities have been identified across the SFWMD’s operations in 16 counties, and include flooding, storm surge impacts, and exposed water supplies. A properly functioning C&SF Project is vital to our livelihood and way of life in South Florida and is the cornerstone around which all regional investments are calibrated.