5th UF Water Institute Symposium Abstract

Submitter's Name Elizabeth Perez
Session Name Planning and Governance
Author(s) Scott Kelly,  City of West Palm Beach
  Elizabeth Perez,  Collective Water Resources, LLC (Presenting Author)
  O'Neil Kathleen, Pi Innovation
  The City of West Palm Beach: Pioneering a New Future for Florida’s Water Resources
  The City of West Palm Beach is pioneering a unique combination of research and simulation-focused studies to better integrate and manage their complex system. The City is uniquely poised to contribute to water resources planning discussions because it is one of the only surface water supply systems in the region that is also actively linked to stormwater, groundwater (including ASR), and wetland treatment systems. Furthermore, staff has launched a focused discussion on long-term policy changes to address water quality, sea level rise, stakeholder involvement/behavioral change, and low impact development. The City’s One Water initiative spans the entire City – from the Mayor’s office to all levels of staff, and leverages extensive and ongoing community involvement. Some of the One Water projects includes the City’s Stormwater Master Plan (SWMP) and Long Term Water Supply Plan. The SWMP is a futuristic master plan that integrates extensive data review/development, stormwater modeling, ordinance revisions, water quality and pollutant load analyses, operations and maintenance refinements, community rating system improvements, sea level rise assessment, and capital improvement project analyses and development. The City will actively leverage a new geodatabase format, improvements to flood insurance rates, an ongoing “City Watersheds Committee” comprised of citizen leaders, cooperative peer review with SFWMD, and active management of water quality data – among other unique features. For the Long Term Water Supply Planning effort, the City leveraged a prior Palm Beach County regional dynamic tool that used the SEI Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) model. This scenario-based planning platform is capable of climate-driven integrated water supply and demand analysis, with the simulation and ranking of capital improvement projects under a range of variable future conditions. Other One Water initiatives that will be discussed are the Loxahatchee River Restoration, cooperative stormwater harvesting with Palm Beach County, and operational optimization using the OASIS model.