This reminder thanks to Gene McAvoy, Regional Vegetable Agent IV, UF/IFAS Hendry Co Extension, LaBelle FL.
Irrigation permits using surface water from Lake Okeechobee or its tributaries for landscape, golf course, nursery, livestock, improved pasture and agricultural uses need to be renewed to avoid losing the legal right to use this water. Anyone using surface water from Lake Okeechobee or its tributaries for irrigation purposes must submit a permit renewal application to the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Water Use Division by February 27, 2009 or lose their right to use water and miss the opportunity to obtain a 20-year duration permit. Failure to renew a water use permit could also result in an enforcement action that could include fines and a consent order to obtain the necessary permit. If an application is received prior to the permit expiration, the permit will remain in force past the expiration date until final agency action on the application is taken.
Why February 27? The expiration date of Feb. 28th falls on a Saturday and the SFWMD is closed. The application must be received by close of business on Friday, Feb. 27th (Not just post-marked). Applications may be filed electronically through the e-permitting portal at sfwmd.gov and also must be filed by close of business on the 27th.
The expiation date applies to renewals in the Lake Okeechobee Service Area (LOSA).
On Feb 25th a LOSA Renewal Workshop will be given by SFWMD water use staff. Location: Clewiston SFWMD Field Station, State Road 832, 2425 Hookers Point Road
Time: 10:00 AM Phone: (863) 983-1431 Map: see LOSA Renewal link
The SFWMD water permit renewal hotline number is 800-547-2694 And here is the e-mail for renewals in general.: firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is the link to the web page or web page address for LOSA renewals:
Please review the following six items to see if the permit renewal deadline applies to you.
1) Are you in the Lake Okeechobee Service Area (LOSA)?
Projects that utilize surface water from Lake Okeechobee, the Caloosahatchee River, the St. Lucie River/Canal or integrated conveyance systems that are hydraulically connected to any of these sources are in LOSA. You can find a map link on the web page link above at the bottom of the page labeled “Irrigation Permit Expiration Basin Map”. If there is any doubt contact the hotline number above for assistance.
2) Is your water use volume high enough?
If you use 3 million gallons per month (3 MGM) or more then you should have either a Major General Water Use Permit or an Individual Water Use Permit that needs to be renewed or newly obtained. Alternatively, you could be served by a Diversion and Impoundment water use permit holder that provides your water needs, but you will need a written legal agreement (see #3 below).
The Major General Permit applies to water use between 3 MGM and 15 MGM.
The Individual Permit applies to water use that exceeds 15 MGM.
Water Use Permits are still needed for non-exempt uses under 3 MGM but this group, known as Minor General Permits, is not in this renewal cycle. Water uses which are exempt from the permitting process include domestic uses for potable and home irrigation and water used for fire fighting.
3) If you are served by a Diversion and Impoundment (D&I) holding a water use permit, will they be obtaining the necessary permit for your water use?
Most D&Is, but not all, are water control districts. Check with your D&I to determine if they are including you as a dependent water user or an independent water user. If you are a dependent user they will ask you to sign an agreement acknowledging that you will abide by the D&I’s water use permit. If you are an independent water user you must obtain your own water use permit.
If you are not sure, apply by February 27th, 2009. You can always withdraw if you are able to be covered by a D&I.
4) You have received a renewal package from the SFWMD.
Then you must submit a renewal application by February 27, 2009 to avoid losing your legal right to use water and potential enforcement actions, which can include penalties.
5) You know that you or a previous land owner had a water use permit with SFWMD but you haven’t received a renewal package.
Contact the SFWMD Water Use Division right away and work with them to track down the status of your water use permit and your water use permit
6) You are using 3 MGM or greater but don’t have any knowledge of a SFWMD water use permit ever having been obtained by you or a previous land owner.
Contact the SFWMD Water Use Division right away and work with them to track down the status of your water use permit needs. They may be able to identify the location of the appropriate water use permit renewal package or you may need to submit an application for water use based on your unpermitted historic water use.