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The Honorable Keith James 2020 "State of the City" Address


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Mayor Keith A. James Announces “300 in 3” Vision for Workforce/Affordable Housing Units

In line with Mayor’s vision of working to create a ‘Community of Opportunity for All,’ new initiative aims to create 300 workforce/affordable housing units in the City in three years.

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Robust aquatic vegetation in City lakes revealed during well testing.
WEST PALM BEACH, FLA. (July 23, 2019) – A City of West Palm Beach exercise, test, and review of the City’s supplemental water supply shows a healthy ecosystem reflected in robust submerged aquatic vegetation. The recently completed exercise evaluated the volume and quality of water from City wells as well as their performance. The 10 wells, located mostly in the area of the ‘M’ Canal between Haverhill Road and I-95, would be used as a supplement to the City’s drinking water supply in the event of severe drought. The City of West Palm Beach Department of Utilities has not used its supplemental water supply system since 2017.
“We tested the wells for 14 days,” said Dr. Poonam Kalkat, City of West Palm Beach Director of Public Utilities. “The evaluation allowed us to assess well performance in a mock emergency or drought condition. We’re very pleased to see healthy grasses in our surface water supply lakes, an indication of a healthy ecosystem that supplies our drinking water.”
The population of submerged aquatic vegetation, including native pond weed, indicates benefits to the City’s aquatic habitat. Benefits include:
  • Sustainability of lake ecosystems;
  • Increased oxygen levels in the lakes;
  • Anchored shoreline sediment, which reduces lake erosion;
  • Host plants that produce beneficial algae that absorbs harmful nutrients;
A robust supply of submerged aquatic vegetation absorbs nitrogen and phosphorus which feed harmful algae and threaten freshwater ecosystems. Harmful algae and algal blooms can also affect the taste and smell of drinking water.
The City of West Palm Beach’s primary drinking water source is Grassy Waters Preserve, a 23 square mile remnant of the Everglades and an important habitat for numerous rare and endangered species. The City serves approximately 150,000 water customers within the City, the Town of Palm Beach and the Town of South Palm Beach. The City’s Department of Public Utilities Watershed Management Division has the responsibility of providing operational management of the supplemental wellfield and surface water network of wetlands that supply water customers with award-winning drinking water.
For more information about the City’s freshwater ecosystem, please visit
or call (561) 835-7480 or TTY (800) 955-8771.