Title: Chief Hydrologist. Water levels in large parts of the SWFWMD District
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00051606/00001
 Material Information
Title: Chief Hydrologist. Water levels in large parts of the SWFWMD District
Alternate Title: Chief Hydrologist. Water levels in large parts of the SWFWMD District are unusually low and people wondering why.
Physical Description: 1p.
Language: English
Publication Date: June 1972
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
General Note: Box 3, Folder 5A ( WATER SHORTAGE, VOL. I. B3F5 ), Item 15
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00051606
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text


gpm capacity, and thus each well, of itself,
This is the time of the year when we ex- is no great threat to the safety of the water
pect lake levels to be low, streamflow supply. But in their totality, and including a
diminished, and unirrigated areas suffering good many industrial and irrigation wells of
for lack of water. But this year, water levels 2,000 or 5,000 gpm output, these new wells
in large parts of the District are unusually impose a much larger stress on the aquifer
low and many people are wondering why. than previously existed, therefore, water
The answer to this question is complex levels totally must drop in proportion to the
and not simply answered. There are several new pumping stresses imposed.
causes, and in different places, one cause When the regional ground-water levels
maybe more important than others. drop below the bottoms of lakes, leakage
One of the principal causes stems from the from the lakes is induced. This imposes a
current, extended drought. Over most of the new stress on lake storage, particularly on
District we have experienced a nearly those lakes having permeable (leaky)
persistent drought of eleven years (1961-72) bottoms. To these leaky-bottomed lakes
during which only only two years (1968-69) there is thus* added,* in addition to the
showed excesses of rainfall above the natural evapotranspiration losses, losses
normal, and these excesses were quite equalling or even exceeding evapotran-
small. spiration. Thus at a time when
Let's take the Lakeland weather bureau evapotranspiration is removing, say 0.14 of
station rainfall records as a "for-instance". of an inch of water a day (a fairly normal
In the years 1961-1972 inclusive, the average value over the District) seepage
Lakeland station reported a total of 5.63 losses added to this may increase the total
inches of excess precipitation (4.00 inches in lake losses to 0.28 of an inch a day, more or
1968 and 1.63 inches in 1969), but the total less, which amounts to a water-level
reported deficiency is 73.56 inches for the lowering of 8.4 inches a month or about 104
remaining 9 years. Thus an accumulated inches per year. For these lakes having an
deficiency of 67.93 inches exists in this part impermeable bottom, and for which no
of Polk County. This lacks only 0.06 inches of leakage losses are increased, the losses
being 68 inches, which is 5 feet 8 inches of would be about 4.2 inches a month or 52
water. If this were added as recharge to any inches a year.
of our lakes their levels would be at or close One cannot make a blanket appraisal for
to their normal, historical levels, all lakes of the District, or even of a much
So the drought we are currently ex- smaller area, covering losses of individual
periencing is the major cause of our low lakes. Each lake is an individual case and its
water levels, diminished stream flow and behavior in times of stress must be
thirsting vegetation. Another major factor separately appraised. For many of the
in lowering both ground-and surface-water smaller lakes it may well be appropriate to
levels is the vastly increased pumping that pump from the aquifer to restore lake levels
is being done, largely because of the and thus prevent their becoming ugly mud
drought. New wells are being drilled all over holes with resultant losses to adjoining
the District at a rate of more than 1,000 a residential property. But this is the subject
month or 12,000 a year. Each of these wells of a separate article one that will appear in
is a new source of withdrawal from the a future issue of the Hydroscope.
aquifer. Most of these are small wells for Garald G. Parker, C.P.G.
family purposes only generally less than 50 Chief Hydrologist

The District's $6.7 million budget for although the District staff has the expertise

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