SOUTHWEST FLORIDA WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT
WEST COAST REGIONAL WATER SUPPLY )
AUTHORITY CONSUMPTIVE USE PERMIT )
APPLICATION NUMBER 27704290 )
CROSS BAR RANCH WELL TCELD )
IN PASCO COUNTY, FLORIDA )
AND ) ORDER NO. 78-84
PINELLAS COUNTY )
CONSUMPTIVE USE PERMIT )
APPLICATION NUMBER 27804649 )
CROSS BAR RANCH )
IN PASCO COUNTY, FLORIDA )
ORDER GRANTING PERMITS PURSUANT
TO CONSOLIDATED HEARING BEFORE
THE GOVERNING BOARD
This Matter came on to be heard by the Governing Board of
Southwest Florida Water Management District at a Public Hearing
on October 3, 1978. Said Public Hearing, being duly and properly
noticed, was conducted at District Headquarters, 5060 U. S. Highway
41 South, Brooksville, Florida, and all parties hereto were present
or given the opportunity to be present, and, together with the
general public, were given an opportunity to present testimony
and evidence. The Board, having reviewed the application and
all documents in the File of Record, having heard testimony, and
having received and examined all documentary evidence, makes the
FINDINGS OF FACT:
1. West Coast Regional Water Supply Authority (hereinafter
referred to as Authority) has acquired rights from Pinellas County
to withdraw water in and under the 8,060 acre Cross Bar Ranch in
Pasco County, and proposes to develop a well field thereon for
regional public water supply.
2. Pinellas County (hereinafter referred to as Pinellas)
owns the 8,060 acre Cross Bar Ranch in Pasco County and has
reserved the right to withdraw any reasonable quantity of
water necessary for its own use on the property so long as
the property is not used for any purpose inconsistent with the
primary purpose of the property's utilization as a well field.
3. Pinellas' right to the use of water on Cross Bar Ranch
in the quantities set forth in paragraphs 5 and 6 are by contract
with the Authority reserved to Pinellas and therefore are given
priority herein. Therefore, the quantities that may be available
to the Authority will be subject to the rights of its Grantor.
4. Pursuant to Chapter 373, Florida Statutes and Chapter
16J, Florida Administrative Code, the Authority (by Application
No. 27704290) and Pinellas (by Application No. 27804649) have
each applied to the Southwest Florida Water Management District
for a consumptive use permit for its respective use of water.
The Applicants have stipulated to having their respective permit
applications considered jointly by the Governing Board, and
consolidation for hearing has been granted.
5. Pinellas County Water System, in behalf of Pinellas,
has applied for a Consumptive Use Permit to authorize it or its
lessee to make a combined average annual withdrawal of 704,000
gallons of water per day, with a maximum combined withdrawal rate
not to exceed 3,570,000 gallons during any single day for
soybean, corn and citrus grove irrigation on the property. Por-
tions of the Cross Bar Ranch property have been irrigated by
withdrawals from surface water (Clear Lake) and from two wells
located on the property since 1968.
6. Pinellas seeks authority for withdrawals of ground water
from two wells at the rate of 608,000 gallons per day (average
annual) at a maximum daily rate of 3 million gallons per day,
and withdrawals of surface water from Clear Lake at the rate of
96,000 gallons per day (average annual) at a maximum daily rate
of 570,000 gallons per day. The water will be used for irrigation
of 230 acres of citrus at an application rate of 13 inches (13")
per year, 200 acres of corn at 14 inches (14") per year and 400
acres of soybean and/or pasture at 6 inches (6") per year. The proposed uses
are reasonable uses of water and each is an economic and efficient
use of water in light of existing conditions, circumstances, and
7. Authority has applied for a Consumptive Use Permit to
authorize it to make a combined average annual withdrawal of
30,000,000 gallons of water per day, with a maximum combined
withdrawal rate not to exceed 45,000,000 gallons during any single
day, from 17 production wells to be constructed within the Cross
Bar Ranch Well Field property.
8. Authority contemplates that this well field will supply
the 1980-85 projected peak requirements of approximately 19 million
gallons per day to Pinellas County, 20 million gallons per day to
West Pasco County, 2 million gallons per day to St. Petersburg
and 4 million gallons per day to Northwest Hillsborough County.
9. Authority plans to develop the well field in several
stages to meet increasing water demands of its member governments
and their water system users. The initial construction phase
calls for 15 million gallons per day average supply, with 20
million gallons per day maximum during a single day to be
developed by April 1980. Seven 3 million gallons per day production
wells have been or will be constructed to assure reliable average
production of 15 million gallons per day. This will include
conversion of 3 existing test wells to production wells. Additional
wells are proposed to be installed thereafter as demand increases over
the 1980-85 period.
10. The water from Cross Bar Ranch will be pumped from
the wells into a collection system and through a 60 inch concrete
pressure pipe transmission main to the storage facilities at
Cypress Creek. At Cypress Creek the water will be chlorinated
and pumped to distribution points in Pasco, Pinellas and
11. Pinellas purchased the Cross Bar Ranch property for
development as a well field after a preliminary hydrogeologic
investigation of the site was initiated by Pinellas shortly
thereafter. This investigation was assumed by the Authority
after withdrawal rights were transferred to the Authority by
12. Authority has sponsored an environmental project at
Cross Bar since July 1977. An environmental assessment, data
collection and analysis for the proposed well field was completed
prior to any test pumping. The vegetational and other
hydrobLological monitoring programs will continue. The data
derived to date will provide a base-line for evaluation of
the environmental effects which may result from future well field
13. Authority initiated a test-drilling and test pumping
program in 1977 designed to determine the effects of pumping
ground water from the artesian aquifer underlying the property.
A network of monitoring wells including twelve limestone
(artesian) wells and more than 23 water-table wells were in-
stalled and three 18 day pumping tests were conducted in the
South, central and northern portions of the property. A report
by Authority's consulting groundwater geologists, sub-titled
"Hydrogeological Supplement to the Consumptive Use Permit
Application", dated August 1978, has been submitted to the
District. The "Development and Testing Program-Phase I" report
contains a description of each pump test conducted, hydrologic
anomalies aquifer characteristics derived and other data. This
report, submitted in support of the pending application, while
tending to confirm the potential for development of the property
as a well field, is not based upon sufficient verifiable data
to fully support the application in the quantities requested.
Nevertheless, the report data is sufficient to support the initial
planned phase of development of the well field. Data derived
from production pumping will be utilized subsequently in
verifying computer modelling prior to consideration of further
well field development.
14. In the past the District has received numerous
complaints about water levels in the Pinellas, Pasco and Northwest
Hillsborough County area. During the next two (2) years, the District
will be evaluating the uses and cumulative effects of all
major water withdrawals in such area and Consumptive Use Permits
heretofore issued for public supply well fields in the area will
expire on or before December 31, 1980. The Cross Bar well field
is within the area being evaluated. It is reasonable that any
permit issued for Cross Bar should be reviewed during the period
of the evaluation of the other public supply well fields in
the area. Such review will also provide additional information
for use in evaluating any request for modification of the
initial permit for Cross Bar.
15. The data furnished by the Authority is sufficiently
reliable and conclusive to support an initial Consumptive Use
Permit to authorize initial well field development. Such initial
permit, based upon the projected water needs through 1980, would
provide authorization to the Authority to make a combined average
annual withdrawal of 15,000,000 gallons of water per day, with
a maximum combined withdrawal rate not to exceed 20,000,000
gallons during any single day.
16. The Authority has shown that it will encounter substantial
difficulty in acquiring funding for the construction of the
Cross Bar Well Field through the sale of revenue bonds if the
permit is not issued for a substantial period of time and has
requested that the permit be issued for thirty years to achieve
a maximum economy in bond financing. The Authority further states
that additional financing costs, if available at all, will be
substantially increased if the permit is not issued for a
minimum period of at least five years. The Authority has
demonstrated a need for initial construction of the well field.
In order to avoid substantial additional cost in bond financing,
but still to maintain a reasonable check and review period on
the Cross Bar Well Field, the Board finds that it is the public
interest to provide an initial term of five years in the permit,
even though other public supply well field permits may expire at
an earlier date.
17. Continued investigation will be undertaken by the
Authority to provide additional information and data and to
confirm its computer model. In addition, the program of
groundwater monitoring will be continued and further refined.
A deep monitor well will be constructed to monitor water
quality and to assist in detecting movement of mineralized
waters. Additional geologic and hydrologic information will
become available from drillers logs, geophysical logs, and
pumping tests. As this additional data is obtained, the under-
standing of the hydrogeologic system will increase and the
development of the Cross Bar Ranch well field will only be
allowed to continue if it is on a sound technical basis.
18. A proposed form of Consumptive Use Permit for this well
field for a period of time to October 3, 1983, has been drafted
by District Staff. The proposed permit would authorize withdrawals
in the quantities which the Authority has shown its projected
needs to be for that period; withdrawals of 15,000,000 gallons
per day (average annual) at a maximum 20,000,000 gallons per day.
The proposed permit provides the provisions for metering and report-
ing and additionally provides for two rainfall gages, and seven
monitoring sites including 4 existing sites and 3 new sites.
All activities during construction, testing, production and data
collection will be closely coordinated with the Staff of the
Southwest Florida Water Management District.
19. Objections have been received in response to notice
of this pending application. The objectors, most of whom are
from Pasco County, object to the well field and transporting
water out of Pasco County. Some objectors are concerned about
-environmental impacts, lake lowering, lowered water table and
lowered ground water levels. The Authority answers these
objections by showing that one of the major reasons for the
development of this well field is the anticipated need of
West Pasco County through 1985, and by showing that the best
data available to date supports a showing that production at
the well field in the amounts and for the period set forth in
paragraph 15 will not significantly interfere with other legal
uses of water in the area or adversely affect the hydrobiological
or vegetational environment.
20. The objectors and the Board will have greater assurance
that this well field will not cause adverse effects beyond its
boundaries only after further studies and tests are conducted
and ongoing studies complete. Present data supports a permit
in the quantities set forth in paragraph 15 but is inconclusive
as to the amounts applied for.
21. Since both Pinellas and the Authority will withdraw
from the same property, the quantities requested by Pinellas
for on-site use and the quantities proposed to be authorized
for the Authority as set forth in paragraph 15 have been considered
as combined withdrawals for evaluation under the criteria of
Section 16J-2.11, Florida Administrative Code. Based upon the
data furnished by both Pinellas and the Authority:
a. Such withdrawals will not cause the rate of flow
of a stream or other watercourse to be lowered below the minimum
rate of flow established by the Board.
b. Such withdrawals will not cause the level of the
potentiometric surface to be lowered below any regulatory level
established by the Southwest Florida Water Management District.
c. Such withdrawals will not cause the level of the
surface of water to be lowered below the minimum level established
by the Board.
d. Such withdrawals will not cause the water table to
be lowered so that the lake stages or vegetation will be ad-
versely and significantly affected on lands other than those
owned, leased or otherwise controlled by the Applicants.
e. Such withdrawals will not cause the level of the
potentiometric surface under lands not owned, leased or other-
wise controlled by the Applicants to be lowered more than five
f. Such withdrawals will not cause the level of the
water table under lands not owned, leased otherwise controlled
by the Applicants to be lowered more than three feet (3').
g. Such withdrawals will not cause the level of the
surface of water in any lake or other impoundment to be lowered
more than one foot (1') unless the lake or impoundment is wholly
owned, leased or otherwise controlled by the Applicants.
h. Such withdrawals will not cause the potentiometric
surface to be lowered below sea level.
22. The portion of such withdrawals proposed to be
consumptively used, 704,000 gallons of water per day (average
annual) by Pinellas on site and 15,000,000 gallons of water per
day averagee annual) by Authority from 8,060 acres of lands
owned, leased or otherwise controlled by the Applicants, is at the
rate of 1,950 gallons per day per acre.
23. To better evaluate the potential of the proposed future
withdrawals and to monitor the effects of the withdrawals described
in paragraph 15, additional monitoring facilities should be constructed
on and off the p-operty controlled by the Applicant and flow meters
should be installed to monitor the withdrawals, and the District will
also install additional monitoring facilities near this well field.
24. Applicant has not completed a full evaluation of the potential
for salt-water intrusion and/or upcoming of highly mineralized waters.
It is not anticipated that such condition will occur as a result of
withdrawals at the rate set forth in paragraph 15.
Although the Cross Bar Ranch Well Field may be located far
enough from the coast to preclude the potential danger of lateral
salt-water -intrusion, plans have been made by the Authority to
construct a deep water-quality well on the property to allow
for the detection of vertical movement, if any, of the mineralized
waters beneath the property.
25. It is necessary, as a means of providing early
indication of changes in hydrologic conditions that may occur
as a result of the proposed future withdrawals, to require
early construction of an exploratory test hole to
investigate the nature of the zone containing highly
mineralized water beneath Applicant's property and to
investigate water quality changes.
26. The Intervenors, Patricia R. Pieper, Sue Bennett Houck, and
Pasco County, have fully participated in these proceedings. They shall
be given notice of any request for modification during the pendency ofJ
of any permit issued pursuant to these proceedings.
In accordance with the foregoing, and in consideration of
applicable laws and regulations, the Board makes the following
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW:
1. The Applicants have established that the intended
a) is a reasonable-beneficial use;
b) is consistent with the public interest; and
c) will not interfere with any legal use of water
existing at the time of the application.
II. The Applicants have shown good cause why the Board
may grant an exception to the provisions of Chapter 16J-2.11(3),
Florida Administrative Code, pertaining to the water crop.
III. The intended consumptive uses are in compliance with
the requirements of Chapter 373, Florida Statutes, and Chapter
16J, Florida Administrative Code.
Wherefore, upon consideration, it is
A. That the Executive Director of Southwest Florida
Water Management District or a duly delegated member of his Staff,
is authorized and directed to issue Consumptive Use Permits
pursuant to the above numbered applications in substantially
the forms and subject to the terms and conditions set forth in
Exhibit I and Exhibit 2.
DATE: October 3, 1978
SOUTHWEST FLORIDA WATER MANAGEMENT
7/ Derrill S. McAteer, Chairman
SATTE T Apprwoved
/ r. Brooks Johns, Secret'^y ^ m^ /^
," eB,,rd Coesel
se/,/ FILED WITH CLERK, SWFWMD