In this section
- A statewide effort to improve consistency in the consumptive/water use permitting programs implemented by the water management districts
- Permit applicants who need assistance resolving issues may contact the District’s Ombudsman, Maurice Sterling, at (386) 329-4320 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Agricultural Assistance Team
- GIS-Based Water Resources and Agricultural Permitting and Planning System (GWRAPPS)
- Water resources for Florida agriculture
Apply for a permit or submit
Find permits and applications
- Application/permit number
- GIS permit search tool
- Legacy permit number
- Mitigation bank search tool
- Pending applications
- Permit type
- Project contacts
- Project name
- Section, township, range
- Well completion reports
- Other water management districts
Sign up to receive permit
Rules and permit conditions
Handbooks, forms, fees, final orders
- Consumptive use permit (CUP) handbook
- Environmental Resource Permit (ERP) Applicant’s Handbook
(effective Oct. 1, 2013)
- Pre-Oct. 1, 2013, ERP Applicant’s Handbooks
- Permit application fees
- Public records distribution policy and associated fees
- Final orders
Uniform Mitigation Assessment Methodology (UMAM)
- Training video (running time: 3 hours, 20 minutes)
- UMAM rule (62-345, Florida Administrative Code)
- Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s UMAM web page
Help and online resources
- Support and FAQs
- Conservation easements FAQs
- Wildfire risk reduction in District conservation easements
- What’s new in online application process
- Quick reference guide
- Measuring water use by electric consumption
- Training requests for submitting permit applications
- Statement of agency organization and operation
An overview of water management district permitting
The two most common types of permits issued by Florida’s five water management districts address how much water may be used and address the impact of new development and construction activities on water resources.
The first type of permit, which authorizes water use, is a consumptive use permit (CUP). A CUP typically allows water to be withdrawn from groundwater or surface water for reasonable-beneficial uses — such as public supply (drinking water), agricultural and landscape irrigation, commercial use, and power generation — in a manner that does not interfere with other existing legal water uses and protects water resources from harm (such as saltwater intrusion and drying up of wetlands, lakes and springs).
CUPs require water conservation to prevent wasteful uses, such as the reuse of reclaimed water (treated wastewater) or storm water instead of higher quality groundwater, and set limits on how much water can be withdrawn at each location in the aquifer or from surface water. These limits protect existing residents’ water supplies and protect aquifers, lakes and rivers from harm.
The second permit is an environmental resource permit (ERP), which authorizes new development or construction activities to occur in a manner that will prevent adverse flooding, manage surface water, and protect water quality, wetlands, and other surface waters.
ERPs prevent flooding, protect the water quality of Florida’s lakes and streams from stormwater pollution, and protect wetlands and other surface waters.
Large water users, such as agricultural users, are required to obtain a consumptive use permit.
Who needs a CUP?
Consumptive use permitting regulations have many thresholds, but the three situations which most frequently require a permit are:
- You want to withdraw water from a well that measures six inches or more in diameter
- You use or want to use an annual average of 100,000 gallons of water or more per day
- You have the capacity to pump 1 million gallons of water or more per day
How do you obtain a CUP?
To make certain that water users meet the criteria, District engineers and hydrologists review permit applications and conduct site inspections.
Each permit applicant is required to:
- Submit a water conservation plan, providing measures to reduce water use and preserve water resources for other beneficial uses
- Investigate and use the lowest acceptable quality source of water. For example, golf courses and other large users of water for landscape irrigation are required to use reclaimed water or storm water when available instead of higher quality potable groundwater.
What happens after a CUP is issued?
Golf courses and other large users of water are required to use the lowest acceptable quality source of water for irrigation.
Each permit authorizes water use for a particular purpose and contains a number of permit conditions that must be followed by the water user. All water users are responsible for implementing their approved water conservation plan and reporting their total monthly water use every six months. Each permit has a limited duration and must be renewed upon expiration. At that time, the District reviews the permit again.
Who needs an ERP?
ERPs were first required in 1995. They combine the former wetland dredge and fill permit issued by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Management and Storage of Surface Waters permit issued by the water management districts. Anyone proposing construction of new facilities, including governmental agencies, developers building new residential or commercial areas, or anyone who wants to fill in wetlands must have an ERP.
How do you obtain an ERP?
ERP applications may be obtained online, or by calling or writing the District. If you need help in preparing the application, you can arrange a pre-application conference with a District engineer or environmental specialist, or you can call if you have questions that can be answered by phone. Most ERP applications involve a site visit by a District environmental specialists.
What happens after an ERP is issued?
A permit is issued for a specific purpose and contains a number of conditions that must be followed. Permit holders are responsible for implementing these conditions and filing whatever reports may be necessary, including an as-built certification upon completion of construction. Each permit has a limited duration for construction, usually five years.
On the St. Johns River Water Management District’s website, you can search for application and permit information and regulatory rules, forms and meeting information. You can also create and maintain a login ID that enables you to submit permit applications, submit permit compliance information, and subscribe to electronic noticing of application receipt and intended permit issuance decisions.
Online applications that are currently available include the contractor licensing (new and renewals); water well construction permits (WWCs); consumptive use permits (CUPs), new, renewal and modifications; CUP notice of general permits; environmental resource permits (ERPs), new and modifications; and ERP-agriculture (silviculture) permits. All compliance submittals may also be submitted on this site.