SFWMD plans $100 million spending for two water farm projects

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sfwmd bluefield survey
Surveying the site for the Bluefield Water Farm (SFWMD)

The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) board is expected to approve spending more than $100 million over 11 years on two new water farms designed to keep water out of the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon.

Both projects are on land owned by Evans Properties Inc.

Water farms retain rain that falls on them and draw water — fouled with nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus — from canals that otherwise would pollute the river and lagoon, TCPalm reports.

The proposed projects will depend on Florida Legislature funding, without local property tax levies.

The two projects are:

Bluefield Water Farm

  • Site: 6,107 acres in western St. Lucie County on the C-23 Canal, which leads to the St. Lucie River
  • Will remove per year: 9 billion gallons of water, 5.12 metric tons of phosphorus, 25.5 metric tons of nitrogen
  • Cost to build: $2.7 million
  • Payments: $4.5 million per year for 10 years
  • Total cost: $47.4 million
  • Cost effectiveness: 45 cents per 1,000 gallons
Bluefield Water Farm

Bluefield Water Farm (Photo: South Florida Water Management District)

Scott Water Farm

  • Site: 7,444 acres in northwestern St. Lucie County and southwestern Indian River County on the C-25 Canal, which leads to the Indian River Lagoon
  • Will remove per year: 8.8 billion gallons of water, 3.8 metric tons of phosphorus, 22.2 metric tons of nitrogen
  • Cost to build: $3.25 million
  • Payments: $5.8 million per year for 10 years
  • Total cost: $61.4 million
  • Cost effectiveness: 60 cents per 1,000 gallons
Scott Water Farm

Scott Water Farm (Photo: South Florida Water Management District)

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