Coastal Flood Risk on the Rise

Miami and its suburbs face a greater financial risk from coastal flooding than any other city in the world.

Southeast Florida Region

Click here to meet our Southeast Florida Stakeholder Advisory Committee

South Florida is the principal economic engine for the state and is home to 5.5 million people. With rising sea levels, low elevation, potential climate change-related changes in precipitation, and a super-permeable surficial sole-source aquifer that is vulnerable to sea water intrusion, the region faces a myriad of challenges.

South Florida gets its water from 1.5 meters of local rainfall and from an extensive canal system that imports water from Lake Okeechobee and recharges the karstic aquifer. Gravity-flow salinity control structures on the canals maintain the aquifer head higher than the sea to hold back sea water intrusion. Many of these structures are at risk of becoming nonfunctional due to sea level rise and are being replaced with pumps. However, the permeability of the underlying rock and the shallow water table make it questionable if even the largest pumps can keep water levels below the surface.

Flooding from a rising water table is an issue. Catastrophic sea water contamination of the aquifer from hurricane storm surge is also possible. “Sunny day” flooding due to high tides is a problem in low-lying areas.

Stakeholder Engagement

UWIN stakeholder engagement activities focus on learning from challenges facing local water communities in order to inform ongoing research, while providing tools and information to communities to further their sustainable water programs.

Meet the Southeast Florida Stakeholder Advisory Committee here.


2016 Stakeholder Advisory Committee Meeting – February 10, Kampong Botanical Garden, Miami, FL