District Water Use Information


As a member of the North St. Lucie River Water Control District, you may have been able to take part in the limited ability of the District to provide surface water for irrigation purposes.

In order to continue providing surface water through North St. Lucie River Water Control District facilities to constituents for irrigation use, the District is required to obtain a South Florida Water Management District Water Use permit. You may have previously received correspondence from South Florida Water Management District further describing Water Use requirements specific to your property.

In an effort to serve the landowners who have historically utilized surface water benefits, the North St. Lucie River Water Control District Board of Supervisors has elected to formally apply to South Florida Water Management District as a Diversion and Impoundment System to continue this water use. This application has been submitted and is currently under review by South Florida Water Management District. If you obtain surface water from District facilities, you will be required to establish your water use right by either of the following:

• Become part of the North St. Lucie River Water Control District Water Use permit as a Dependent User, or
• Obtain your own permit from South Florida Water Management District as an Independent User.

In either case, you will need to have an agreement with the North St. Lucie River Water Control District for withdrawal of surface water from District facilities (Application to Connect To or Use North St. Lucie River Water Control District Facilities for Water Use Purposes). This agreement and instructions can be obtained from the District Office. A $100 processing fee will be required with your agreement. Please be aware that any permit issued previously by North St. Lucie River Water Control District for water withdrawal will no longer be sufficient to maintain your water use rights through the District.

canal maintenance

Please be aware that the North St. Lucie River Water Control District application to South Florida Water Management District for Water Use addresses surface water only. This application does not involve the permitting of wells. Water Use from wells is permitted by South Florida Water Management District, with exemptions described follows:

• Well use at single family or duplex residences for domestic purposes are exempt from South Florida Water Management District permit requirements and are not included in this process.
• All well uses, except the residential use described above, must coordinate with South Florida Water Management District directly for permitting requirements and are not covered under this application.

Also, please be aware that any surface water use through North St. Lucie River Water Control District facilities that is not under agreement with the District will be considered unpermitted activity and may be subject to any rules, regulations and penalties of the South Florida Water Management District.

Application to Connect to, or Use North St. Lucie River Water Control District Facilities for Water Use Purposes

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why is North St. Lucie River Water Control District involved in water use permitting? Historically, the North St. Lucie River Water Control District issued irrigation permits to landowners for the use of District surface waters. However, landowners were required to also seek South Florida Water Management District permits for their proposed surface water use. In 2005, at the request of landowners and the South Florida Water Management District, the North St. Lucie River Water Control District obtained a South Florida Water Management District Diversion and Impoundment Permit, which allows permit approval coverage for secondary users of surface water withdrawn from District facilities. If permit approval as a “dependent” secondary user is extended to a property under this Diversion and Impoundment Permit, North St. Lucie River Water Control District landowners are no longer required to maintain their own individual permit through South Florida Water Management District for surface water uses.
  2. Who should apply for a water use permit? If you withdraw surface water from the North St. Lucie River Water Control District facility you need to obtain an Application to Connect To, or Use North St. Lucie River Water Control District Facilities for Water Use Purposes.
  3. What is the difference between an independent user and a dependent user? An independent user maintains their own North St. Lucie River Water Control District and South Florida Water Management District permits, but a dependent user is permitted through the North St. Lucie River Water Control District for all surface water uses under the Diversion and Impoundment permit, and does not need a South Florida Water Management District permit for surface water usage. Please note that wells are not covered under this Diversion and Impoundment Permit, and landowners must maintain their own South Florida Water Management District permits for well facilities.
  4. Who should not apply for this water use permit? If you do not use surface water that is withdrawn from North St. Lucie River Water Control District facilities, then you do not need an Application to Connect to, or Use North St. Lucie River Water Control District facilities for Water Use Purposes. If you obtain water for irrigation from other sources (e.g. an onsite lake or well) you will be required to obtain a South Florida Water Management District Water Use Permit.
  5. What about groundwater that I obtain from existing wells on my property? The groundwater that you obtain from existing wells on your property is permitted by the South Florida Water Management District and does not require a North St. Lucie River Water Control District Permit. Please contact the South Florida Water Management District to determine permitting requirements.
  6. If I want to install a new well for irrigation and I have submitted an Application to Connect to, or Use North St. Lucie River Water Control District facilities for Water Use Purposes, do I need to obtain permits from St. Lucie County and South Florida Water Management District? You may need to obtain permits from these agencies. The water use permit issued by North St. Lucie River Water Control District only applies to surface water withdrawn from North St. Lucie River Water Control District Canals, not to groundwater from wells. Groundwater withdrawn from wells is subject to the rules of both St. Lucie County and South Florida Water Management District. Please contact the South Florida Water Management District and St. Lucie County to determine the permitting requirements.
  7. We are a property owners association for a development within North St. Lucie River Water Control District and we irrigate portions of our development with water withdrawn from a lake that we own. We replenish the water in the lake with a well and/or rainfall, and we do not withdraw surface water from any District Canals. Do we need a water use permit from North St. Lucie River Water Control District? No, as long as you do not withdraw surface water from North St. Lucie River Water Control District Canals you do not need a water use permit from the District. You will need to have a water use permit from South Florida Water Management District.
  8. If I recently submitted an irrigation connection application and fee prior to implementation of the current North St. Lucie River Water Control District Water Use program, do I need to submit the $100 fee per canal? If you have submitted an irrigation connection permit and fee after December 1, 2004, then you do not have to submit an additional $100 fee per canal for submittal of the new application form.
  9. If I am a single landowner with separate parcels which connect to North St. Lucie River Water Control District facilities for water use, do I need to submit separate applications for each parcel? Yes, if you have parcels which are not contiguous and are served by separate irrigation systems, then you will need to submit a separate application for each parcel.

Should you have any questions or comments not covered by our Frequently Asked Questions please contact:

Patrick Helms or Katherine Caricchio, NSLRWCD Engineers, at 561-684-3375 or patrick.helms@aecom.com or katherine.caricchio@aecom.com

North St. Lucie River Water Control District Permit Information and Criteria Manual For Use Of or Connection To Works of the District

For the following documents, please contact the District office:

  • Application to Connect To or Use North St. Lucie River Water Control District Facilities for Water Use Purposes
  • Application Instructions
  • Sample Application Introduction
  • Sample of Completed Application Form