Title: St Johns River Water Management District, District Water Management Plan, Preliminary Goals, Issues and Policies
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Title: St Johns River Water Management District, District Water Management Plan, Preliminary Goals, Issues and Policies
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Language: English
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Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
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Abstract: Jake Varn Collection - St Johns River Water Management District, District Water Management Plan, Preliminary Goals, Issues and Policies (JDV Box 49)
General Note: Box 21, Folder 2 ( Land and Water Planning Task Force - 1994 - 1995 ), Item 28
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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Bibliographic ID: WL00004391
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
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ST. JOHNS RIVER WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT
DISTRICT WATER MANAGEMENT PLAN
PRELIMINARY
GOALS, ISSUES, AND POLICIES

St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) has initiated a comprehensive,
long-term approach to water management planning. The District Water Management
Plan (DWMP), due for completion by November 1, 1994, will be the first complete
documentation of this planning process.

The DWMP will present a resource-based approach to managing all water and
related resources within the SJRWMD boundaries. SJRWMD will use the DWMP to
guide its research, regulatory, and operations programs. Data collected and research
performed in the planning process may also be used by regional planning councils
and local governments in preparing their comprehensive plans.

The attached document contains draft issues and policies which may be included in
the DWMP. The goals, on which the identification of issues and formulation of
preliminary policies are based, and the organization of issues and policies are
described below.


GOALS

The following goals have been used as guiding principles in developing the DWMP.

Water Supply. To ensure the availability of an adequate and affordable supply of
water for all reasonable-beneficial uses while protecting the water and related
resources of the District.

Flood Protection. To minimize the potential for damage from floods by protecting
and restoring the natural water storage and conveyance functions of flood prone
areas with preference given, where possible, to the use of non-structural surface
water management methods.

Water Quality Management. To protect existing surface and groundwater quality
from degradation, and where appropriate, to improve and restore the quality of
waters not currently meeting water quality standards.

Natural Systems Management. To maintain native biological diversity and
productivity by protecting ecosystems and restoring altered systems to a naturally
functional condition.


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ISSUES AND POLICIES

During the past three years, SJRWMD staff have performed research and solicited
input from other agencies, local governments and the public to identify significant
water and water-related issues throughout the District. As a result of that effort,
numerous water management issues have been identified and preliminary policies
have been developed to address them. Those issues and policies are grouped under
the following headings in the DWMP and the attached compendium.

A. Water Supply
1. Needs and Sources Assessment
2. Source Protection
B. Flood Protection
C. Water Quality Management
1. Surface Water
2. Ground Water
D. Natural Systems Management
1. Ecosystems Protection
2. Minimum Flows and Levels

District-wide and location-based issues have been identified for each responsibility
area and policies have been developed to address both types of issues. District-wide
issues are those which concern general practices, policies, or rules applied throughout
the District or to a wide range of circumstances. Location-based issues concern
events which happen in specific places and require individualized approaches to
address them.

A portion of the DWMP will focus on location-based issues in individual counties.
This part of the plan should be particularly useful to local governments in preparing
portions of their comprehensive plans concerning water supply, wastewater, flood
protection, and conservation. The attached document includes draft district-wide
issues and location-based issues and policies for the subject county.

If you wish to comment on the draft issues or policies, please do so within two
weeks after the workshop for this county to assure adequate time for SJRWMD staff
to evaluate the comments and make any necessary revisions.









SEMINOLE COUNTY
WATER MANAGEMENT ISSUES
AND
PRELIMINARY POLICIES
June 28, 1994


WATER SUPPLY

Needs and Sources

District-wide Issues and Policies

Issue: Coordinated Regional Water Supply Management. Long-term assurance of
local water supplies often requires a regional management approach involving
numerous administrative entities, including DCA, DEP, HRS, counties, cities, and
various special districts. SJRWMD must work with these entities to assure consistent
policy on water supply related matters through communication and cooperation.

Issue: Water Use Data Collection and Research. Accurate knowledge of current
and past water withdrawals is essential for dependable projections of future water
use, assessment of withdrawal impacts, and long-term water supply planning.
Historically, some types of uses have not been metered or otherwise effectively
monitored in the SJRWMD. Lack of direct water use data for these applications is a
major source of uncertainty in water use estimates and projections. In particular,
greater understanding is needed for public supply per capital and agricultural water
uses for both planning and permitting purposes.

Issue: Water Supply Availability Assessment. The SJRWMD Water Supply Needs
and Sources Project is designed to provide an estimate of water availability. Water
availability is the potential quantity of water which can be withdrawn from the
natural resource without resulting in significant harm to the water resource,
associated natural systems, or existing legal users. SJRWMD is participating in a
state-wide effort with other water management districts and DEP to develop
thresholds which would define significant harm resulting from water withdrawals.
Establishment of scientifically and legally sound criteria and thresholds is necessary
before definitive estimates of water availability can be made.

Issue: Conservation. SJRWMD does not currently have a coordinated program for
promoting water conservation. Increasing water demand has created a need for an
expanded effort in this area. This effort should include greater dissemination of


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information to the public, retrofit of water saving devices, development of model and
pilot projects, research projects, technical assistance to local governments, further
incorporation into the CUP process, and wastewater reuse implementation.

Issue: Wastewater Reuse. Concerns by potential suppliers and users present
obstacles to the acceptance and development of wastewater reuse. These concerns
include high initial costs, potential health hazards, and mechanisms for matching
suppliers with users. Part of this problems stems from a division of regulatory
responsibilities. The water management districts regulate water use but DEP
regulates wastewater treatment and HRS regulates health and safety matters. Greater
coordination between these agencies is needed to facilitate increased use of treated
domestic wastewater.

Issue: Cooperative Funding. SJRWMD does not currently have a formal program
for providing funding assistance to local governments. Some assistance is provided
to local governments on an ad hoc basis but there are no funds budgeted for this
purpose or set procedures for their distribution. There is a particular need for such
funding to facilitate local reuse and conservation projects.

Issue: General Permit Wells. Numerous small wells are used for domestic self-
supplies, landscape irrigation, and other uses. Because of the small diameter or low
amount of water taken from individual wells, the users are not required to have
individual CUPs. Users of these wells have rights as existing water users. However,
it may be difficult or impossible to evaluate the potential impacts of new large water
uses in their vicinity on them. SJRWMD needs to develop an approach for assuring
protection of these existing legal water users.

The Issues listed above are addressed by the following Policies:

Policy: Rely on Consumptive Use Permitting as the primary water supply
management tool and initiate program modifications to enhance effectiveness.

Policy: Implement the Needs and Sources program through technical
assistance and coordination with local governments, water supply authorities,
utilities, and water users, with particular emphasis on designated areas.

Policy: Base the resource assessment for Needs and Sources on significant
impacts to natural systems, surface water, ground water quality, and existing
legal users.

Policy: Collect water use data and perform such research and analysis as
needed to understand water use for both planning and regulatory purposes.

Policy: Promote conservation and reuse as priority strategies.


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Location-based Issues and Policies


Issue: Impacts to Natural Systems. Ground water modeling indicates that two
types of unacceptable impacts to natural systems will result from projected water
withdrawals in Seminole. Declines in the water table of the surficial aquifer may
cause significant harm to native vegetation in parts of the county. This impact would
focus primarily on wetlands vegetation. In addition, reductions in the potentiometric
surface of the Floridan aquifer may be sufficient to seriously reduce spring flows in
the Wekiva River Basin. Because the Wekiva River depends primarily on spring
discharge for its flow, major reductions in spring flow would result in substantially
lowered flows and levels in the Wekiva River.

Issue: Impacts to Ground Water Quality. Ground water modeling of projected
water withdrawals indicates that reductions in the potentiometric surface of the
Floridan aquifer will probably not result in regionally significant harm to ground
water quality in Seminole County, based on currently available data. However,
additional data are required to more effectively access the potential for salt water
intrusion in this area.

Policy. Work with utilities and local governments to develop comprehensive
water conservation and demand management programs to reduce water
withdrawals, including education and outreach; pricing policies; water audits;
leak detection and repair; and plumbing, landscaping, and irrigation
regulations.

Policy. Work with utilities and local governments to develop alternative water
supply source scenarios, to reduce and redistribute withdrawal.

Policy. Promote more effective utilization of wastewater reuse to relieve
demand for ground and surface water withdrawal and provide recharge to
ground water sources, using such means as regional reclaimed water systems,
rapid infiltration basins, and irrigation projects.

Police. Develop expanded data collection and monitoring programs to
provide information necessary to better assess the potential for impacts to
natural systems and ground water quality.


June 28, 1994


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' .I .:. ^


Source Protection

District-wide Issues and Policies

Issue: Completion of WHPA Delineations. Provision of WHPA delineations and
technical assistance to local governments concerning their protection has experienced
delays. Completion of wellhead area delineations by SJRWMD must be expedited.

Issue: Intergovernmental Coordination. Improved coordination concerning WHPA
regulations is needed at all levels of government, including consideration of county-
wide or District-wide wellhead protection programs. A process is needed to protect
public supply wells of one local government located in the jurisdiction of another.

Issue: Regulation Implementation. SJRWMD should continue to provide assistance
to local governments to implement protective regulations once delineations are
completed. The assistance should include the source protection information required
in local plans and sample wellhead protection regulations.

All of the Issues listed above are addressed by the following Policy:

Policy: Implement a coordinated WHPA technical assistance program to
provide timely delineations and implementation assistance to requesting local
governments. Rely on local governments to implement WHPA programs.


Issue: Aquifer Recharge Rule Criteria. Design criteria for aquifer recharge are
provided only in SJRWMD's MSSW rules for the Wekiva River Basin. Similar design
criteria for all important recharge areas within SJRWMD should be considered.

Policy: Consider incorporating recharge requirements for the entire District
into SJRWMD's MSSW and Stormwater rules based on the aquifer recharge
map and the Wekiva River Basin rule.

Policy: Initiate research to develop data on the effects of different land uses
on the functioning of recharge areas, including such factors as percentage of
impervious cover, density of septic tanks, and vegetative types.

Issue: Land Use Impacts. The impacts of different types of land use on quantity
and quality of recharge are not understood. Research is needed concerning the
effects of different land uses, including impervious surfaces, mining, and septic tanks,
on the functioning of recharge areas, and the effect of changes in the rate of recharge.

Policy: Initiate research to develop data on the effects of different land uses
on the functioning of recharge areas, including such factors as percentage of
impervious cover, density of septic tanks, and vegetative types.


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Issue: Stormwater Treatment Design. Research is needed to determine the
effectiveness of current stormwater treatment design criteria in terms of water
quality, especially in recharge areas.

Policy: Initiate research to determine the effectiveness of various stormwater
treatment methods in preventing ground water degradation or pollution in
recharge areas.


Issue: Delineation of Prime Recharge Areas. Although no deadline is provided, the
statutory requirement to delineate prime recharge areas has not yet been completed.
SJRWMD should complete the needed research and provide such information in a
timely manner so that it can be used as a basis for recharge area protection programs.

Policy: Delineate prime recharge areas as basis for protective actions by local
governments.


Issue: Stormwater for Recharge. Use of stormwater for recharge may have the
combined benefits of adding water to aquifers and reducing pollution of surface
waters.

Policy: Consider incorporating recharge requirements for the entire District
into SJRWMD's MSSW and Stormwater rules based on the aquifer recharge
map and the Wekiva River Basin rule.

Policy: Initiate research to develop data on the effects of different land uses
on the functioning of recharge areas, including such factors as percentage of
impervious cover, density of septic tanks, and vegetative types.


Issue: All Local Ordinances Meet DEP Minimum Criteria. Local wellhead
protection ordinances are required to meet minimum criteria in DEP rule, Ch. 17-521,
F.A.C. (..only relevant if DEP adopts rule..).

Policy: Provide assistance to those local governments whose wellhead
protection ordinances require upgrading to meet DEP's minimum rule criteria
in Ch. 17-521, F.A.C. (..only applies if DEP adopts this rule...if not, this policy will be
deleted..)


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Location-based Issues and Policies


Issue: Potential Conflicts with Proposed Future Land uses. Comparison of the
District's FLUM and Aquifer Recharge Maps indicates areas within the County and
several municipalities where potential aquifer recharge quality and quantity problems
might occur due to the location of certain future land uses within recharge areas.
The future land uses mapped were high and medium density residential, commercial,
industrial, agriculture, and mining. The areas of potential conflict, called Recharge
Areas of concern, are shown on the Recharge Caution Areas map for the County.

Policy Provide technical assistance to the County and those municipalities
within Recharge Areas of Concern to assist in eliminating or reducing potential
conflicts between aquifer recharge area protection and the future land uses
mapped.



FLOOD PROTECTION

District-wide Issues and Policies

Issue: Floodplain Mapping. Federal and State agencies, SJRWMD, local
governments, and developers need accurate floodplain maps for making effective
flood protection decisions and meeting permit requirements.

Policy: Produce floodplain maps according to the following schedule: (under
development).


Issue: Future Development in Floodplains. Development can diminish the natural
flood storage, water quality, and habitat functions of floodplains. Encroachment can
exacerbate flooding in upstream and downstream areas and cause flood losses.

Policy: Recognize local governments' crucial role in flood protection.

Policy: Use the MSSW permitting program to minimize flood impacts and to
minimize development impacts in floodplains.

Policy: Maximize public safety and minimize adverse environmental impacts
when reviewing permits for flood control facilities.


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Issue: Flooding in Existing Developments. Many developed areas within the
District experience flooding of buildings and roads. Efforts to address flooding in
existing developments are hampered by land limitations and local government
financial constraints.

Policy: Assist local governments in determining stormwater level of service
(LOS) by offering training and data needed to employ uniform LOS methods.

Policy. Maximize public safety and minimize adverse environmental impacts
when reviewing permits for flood control facilities.

Policy: Provide limited financial assistance to local governments for
stormwater master planning and retrofit projects.


Issue: Flooding in Closed Basins. Flooding in developed, volume-sensitive areas
poses different problems due to the lack of natural outfalls. Limitations are placed
on the measures available to address flooding.

Policy: Use the MSSW permitting program to minimize flood impacts and to
minimize development impacts in floodplains.


Issue: Flood Control Structures. Although necessary in some areas, the presence and
operation of flood control facilities can alter natural surface water flow and water quality
conditions.

Policy: Maximize public safety and minimize adverse environmental impacts when
reviewing permits for flood control facilities.

Policy: Complete work on SJRWMD's flood control facilities in the Upper St. Johns
and Ocklawaha river basins. Maintain and operate these facilities in a manner that
ensures public safety and minimizes adverse environmental impacts.

Issue: Hurricane Preparedness. The environmental resource permitting program needs to
ensure that proposed evacuation routes are protected from flooding. Permits for evacuation
routes also need to take environmental impacts into account.

Policy: Take environmental impacts and flooding into consideration when evaluating
proposals to construct new evacuation routes.


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Issue: Coordination with Special Districts. SJRWMD already coordinates with some water
control districts on certain surface water management projects. However, little is known
about many of the water control districts that operate within SJRWMD's boundaries. Actions
taken by these special districts can have significant impacts on flood control and surface
water quality.

Policy: Strive to achieve compatibility between water control district and SJRWMD
surface water management objectives.


Location-based Issues and Policies'

Issue: Potential Flooding of Homes, Streets, and Bridges in the Little Wekiva River
watershed. The Little Wekiva River Subbasin is highly urbanized. Street flooding, damages
to residential and commercial buildings, losses of bridges and culverts, and channel and bank
erosion could occur within the subbasin during major storm events.

Policy: Coordinate with Seminole and Orange Counties to implement
recommendations in SJRWMD's Little Wekiva River flood study.


Issue: Potential Flooding of Homes and Bridges in the Howell Creek watershed. Most of
the Howell Creek subbasin is highly urbanized. Although the most severe flood damages
would occur in the Orange County portion of Howell Creek, some flooding of homes,
bridges, and culverts could occur within Seminole County during a major storm.

Policy: Coordinate with Seminole and Orange Counties to implement
recommendations in SJRWMD's Howell Creek flood study.

'NOTE: Additional flood protection issues within Seminole County will be available
when the SJRWMD flood assessment is completed in 1995.


June 28, 1994


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I :t. :.;., ;


WATER QUALITY

Surface Water

District-wide Issues and Policies

Issue: Establishment of PLRGs. Waterbody specific pollutant load reduction goals
(PLRGs) are needed to direct improvements to older stormwater systems and
improve surface water quality.

Policy: PLRGs will be recommended no later than the following schedule:
1. Turkey Creek in the Indian River Lagoon Basin by December 31,
1994 (fresh water, nitrogen, and phosphorus).
2. Lake Apopka by December 31, 1994 (phosphorus).
3. The Upper St. Johns River Basin Project Area by June 30, 1995
(phosphorus and chlorides).
4. Sebastian River in the Indian River Lagoon by December 31, 1996.
5. Lakes in the Upper Ocklawaha River Basin by December 31, 1997
(phosphorus).
6. Watersheds in the tri-county agricultural area of the Lower St.
Johns River Basin by December 31, 1997.
7. Other subbasins in the Indian River Lagoon by December 31,
1998.
8. Watersheds in the Jacksonville urban area by December 31, 1998.

PLRGs for other waterbodies within the SJRWMD will be recommended on the
basis of the SWIM priority planning process, waterbodies that receive
discharges from stormwater management systems that are required to obtain
NPDES municipal stormwater discharge permits, and the results of the DWMP
watershed assessment. PLRGs may change over time as additional data are
obtained.


Issue: Non-point Source Pollution. Non-point source pollution, particularly from
older stormwater systems, is a major cause of surface water quality degradation in
the District. Measures must be taken in order to reduce pollutant loading into
receiving waterbodies.

Policy: Set priorities for restoring and protecting surface water quality on the
basis of the SWIM planning process, the development of PLRGs, and DWMP
resource assessment results.

Policy: Monitor the effectiveness of best management practices currently
accepted by SJRWMD and increase enforcement of stormwater system
maintenance requirements. (more on next page)


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Policy: Make stormwater reuse a priority consideration when evaluating
applications for consumptive use permits.

Policy: Assist local governments in determining stormwater level of service
(LOS) by offering training and data needed to employ uniform LOS methods.


Issue: Guidelines for Retrofit Projects. SJRWMD's regulations lack specific criteria for
retrofitting older stormwater management systems. Moreover, some local governments
do not have a clear understanding of SJRWMD's requirements for stormwater retrofit
projects. Local governments have requested that SJRWMD allow more flexibility when
reviewing these types of projects.

Policy: Improve local governments' understanding of SJRWMD's stormwater
retrofit requirements.


Issue: Local Government Financial Constraints. Retrofit projects are expensive
endeavors, particularly due to land limitations in highly developed areas. Local
governments are required to treat stormwater runoff yet face substantial financial
constraints.

Policy: Provide limited financial assistance to local governments for stormwater
master planning and retrofit projects.


Issue: Stormwater Management System Effectiveness. SJRWMD presumes that if
stormwater rule design and performance criteria are satisfied by MSSW applicants, state
water quality standards will not be violated. However, some designs currently accepted
by the District may not treat stormwater runoff to the extent required by rule. In
addition, many stormwater systems do not receive adequate levels of maintenance.

Policy: Monitor effectiveness of best management practices currently accepted by
SJRWMD and increase enforcement of stormwater system maintenance
requirements.


Issue: Insufficient Information. Agencies responsible for managing surface water
quality do not have sufficient information for assessing existing conditions and trends.
In addition to the need for more surface water quality monitoring, more analysis and
reporting of existing data are needed. Also, procedures for collecting and analyzing
water quality data lack standards, thereby hampering the exchange and use of surface
water quality data by different agencies.

Policy: Support increased surface water quality monitoring, analysis, and
reporting. Promote the monitoring of water, sediments, and biota. Promote the
development and use of standards for water quality sampling.


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Issue: Septic Tanks in Floodplains. Improperly located septic tanks may contribute to
surface water contamination. Problems can be especially severe in areas characterized by
high septic tank densities, high water tables, and unsuitable soils.

Policy: Develop a schedule for floodplain mapping that takes the 10-year
floodplain in areas prone to flooding and septic tank problems into account.


Location-based Issues and Policies

Issue: Diminished Surface Water Quality in the Wekiva River. Although the Wekiva
River's base flow is derived from spring discharges, water quality along the upper
portion of the river may be adversely affected by runoff from developments near the
confluence of Wekiva Springs and Rock Springs Run. Monitoring station data indicate
elevated levels of phosphorus. Some stations also reveal high concentrations of inorganic
nitrogen, possibly supplied by ground water sources.

Policy: Utilize SJRWMD's special basin regulatory criteria for the Wekiva River
and Econlockhatchee River Subbasins to protect surface water quality.


Issue: Existing and Projected Surface Water Quality Problems in the Little Wekiva
River Subbasin. Wetland losses caused by development have lowered surface water
quality and heightened erosion and sedimentation in the subbasin. Approximately 2,025
acres, or 48 percent of the subbasin's wetlands, were destroyed between 1947 and 1988.
The river has been adversely affected by urban stormwater runoff, WWTP discharges,
erosion, industrial discharges, and possibly, septic tank leachate contamination. Water
quality data indicate elevated levels of nutrients, turbidity, fecal coliform, heavy metals,
and BOD. Data also show low concentrations of DO. Urban runoff appears to be the
principal source of pollution. Many surface water quality data are deficient in portions
of the Little Wekiva River.

Policy: Support a coordinated, interagency approach to addressing problems
within the Wekiva River Subbasin.

Policy: Encourage wastewater reuse and the use of advanced wastewater
treatment for facilities that continue to discharge into MSJRB waterbodies.

Policy: Take measures to prevent further surface water quality degradation in
high growth areas.

Policy: Support citizen efforts to improve surface water quality in the Orlando-
Sanford urban corridor.

Policy: Coordinate with HRS, Orange County, and Seminole County to improve
data collection and exchange.


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Issue: Poor Surface Water Quality in Lake Tesup. Lake Jesup is highly eutrophic with
nearly constant algal blooms and yearly fish kills. The degraded condition is, in part,
attributable to historic WWTP discharges. Moreover, recovery is expected to be slow due
to the lake's low flushing rate. A number of creeks that receive large amounts of
stormwater runoff eventually drain into the lake.

Policy: Take measures to prevent further surface water quality degradation in
high growth areas.


Issue: Existing Surface Water Quality Problems in the Howell Creek Watershed. The
Howell Creek watershed suffers from elevated levels of BOD, nutrients, heavy metals, and
chlorophyll a. Lakes and creeks in this drainage subunit are adversely affected by urban
runoff, erosion, and agricultural runoff. Approximately 1,833 acres, or 35 percent of the
Howell Creek's wetlands, have been lost to urban development since 1947. Many surface
water quality data are deficient in portions of the Howell Creek watershed.

Policy: Take measures to prevent further surface water quality degradation in high
growth areas.

Policy: Support citizen efforts to improve surface water quality in the Orlando-
Sanford urban corridor.

Policy: Coordinate with HRS, Orange County, and Seminole County to improve data
collection and exchange.


Issue: Existing and Projected Surface Water Quality Problems in Lake Monroe. Lake
Monroe, part of the St. Johns River system, is highly eutrophic. The lake receives effluent
from the Sanford and Deltona WWTPs and runoff from Sanford urban area. Additional
stormwater runoff problems may occur in the future in the DeBary drainage subunit located
along the northwest edge of Lake Monroe. The DeBary watershed is projected to have 80
percent medium density residential and 13 percent high intensity commercial development.

Policy: Encourage wastewater reuse and the use of advanced wastewater treatment
for facilities that continue to discharge into MSJRB waterbodies.

Policy: Take measures to prevent further surface water quality degradation in high
growth areas.


Issue: Development Pressure in the Econlockhatchee River Subbasin. A number of
unnamed drainage basins near the Little Econ and Econ Rivers are designated for high
density and high intensity urban development. The Little Econ watershed, a more developed
area, receives stormwater runoff from the Orlando urban area. Both rivers receive effluent
from wastewater treatment plants.

Policy: Utilize SJRWMD's special basin regulatory criteria for the Wekiva River and


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Econlockhatchee River Subbasins to protect surface water quality.


Policy: Encourage wastewater reuse and the use of advanced wastewater treatment
for facilities that continue to discharge into MSJRB waterbodies.


Issue: Spring Recharge Areas in the Middle St. Tohns River Basin. Numerous spring
capture zones fall within recharge areas in the Middle St. Johns River Basin. Land uses in
these areas need special consideration in order to ensure that the water quality of the basin's
springs is not degraded. The following springs in Seminole County have portions of
contribution zones that are not protected by public ownership: Miami Springs, Starbuck
Spring, Palm Springs, Sanlando Springs, Island Springs, Elder Spring, Lake Jesup Spring, and
Health Spring.

Policy: Encourage Seminole County to implement measures that protect spring
recharge areas in the Middle St. Johns River Basin.


Ground Water

District-wide Issues and Policies

Issue: Well Construction in Contaminated Areas. DEP is required to delineate
areas of known ground water contamination. Within those areas special location and
construction restrictions are administered by the WMD to help prevent pollution of
wells and cross-contamination of the aquifer. However, construction may still occur
without special restrictions in contaminated areas because of delays in delineation or
because the wells fall below the SJRWMD size threshold and are not regulated by the
county, and therefore do not come to the attention of the District.

Policy: Prevent potable water contamination through the adoption and
comprehensive enforcement of special well construction criteria for each
known ground water contamination area.


Issue: Impacts from Water Withdrawals. To avoid issuing consumptive use permits
that would result in saltwater intrusion and other unacceptable ground water quality
impacts, both monitoring data and predictive models are needed. The existing
monitoring networks need to be supplemented with permitted wells in known or
expected water quality problem areas. The monitoring data will be analyzed to
predict sulfate and TDS concentrations as well as provide support for the District's
saltwater intrusion models.

Policy: Use the CUP process to avoid ground water withdrawals expected to
cause unacceptable water quality impacts.


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Issue: Abandoned Artesian Wells. SJRWMD has an ongoing program to reconstruct
or plug abandoned free-flowing wells. Cost-sharing agreements with counties avoid
any cost to the land owner and thus encourage reporting of well locations, but these
agreements do not exist in several counties. Land owners need to be informed of the
importance of proper abandonment or reconstruction of these wells and the financial
assistance available.

Policy: Reduce the number of problem artesian wells by encouraging land
owners to report them to the District.


Issue: Monitoring Data. A coordinated ground water quality monitoring effort by
DEP, USGS, and the WMDs is ongoing. An analysis is underway to determine
whether the District's monitoring network needs more wells in certain locations and
aquifers and may have an excess of wells in other places. In addition to providing
comprehensive coverage it is important to ensure accessibility of the data for use in
the review of permit applications and other purposes.

Policy: Improve the coverage, accessibility, and usefulness of data from the
ground water quality monitoring network.


Issue: Karst Areas. SJRWMD has adopted special surface water management
criteria to lessen the likelihood of sinkhole formation in sensitive karst areas.
However, sinkhole development beneath stormwater ponds sometimes still occurs.

Policy: Evaluate the need to strengthen District rules to prevent ground water
contamination through sinkholes.


Issues: Generally Unconfined Drinking Water Source. Where water is supplied by
private wells from an unconfined aquifer, special efforts may be needed at the local
level to provide protection from common pollutants. Local governments can
minimize the threat to ground water quality through land use planning, regulation,
and non-regulatory policies and programs.

Policy: Assist local governments to develop regulations to protect ground
water quality in areas most prone to contamination.


Location-based Issues and Policies

Issue: Geneva Lens. The Geneva Lens is a portion of the Floridan aquifer that
forms an isolated freshwater lens surrounded by non-potable saline water, in the area
between the St. Johns River, the Econ River, and Lake Jesup. The 1993 Legislature set
up a Task Force to determine whether existing local, regional, and state programs


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were adequate to protect the quality and quantity of this water for future public use.


Policy: Establish priorities and begin implementation of the Geneva
Freshwater Lens Task Force recommendations for which SJRWMD is
responsible.


NATURAL SYSTEMS

Ecosystems Protection

District-wide Issues and Policies

Issue: Regionally Significant Ecosystems. Regionally significant ecosystems
identified in the DWMP need to be included in the required identification of
significant natural resources in the growth management portion of the State
Comprehensive Plan and in strategic regional policy plans. These state and
regionally significant resources become a basis for local government consideration of
extrajurisdictional development impacts, for strategic regional policy plan resource
protection goals and policies and RPC review of DRIs, and for appeals to the Florida
Land and Water Adjudicatory Commission. They should be given special
consideration in land acquisition planning, local government future land use
designations and regulations, and all public infrastructure planning in order to avoid
adverse impacts.

Policy: Promote the conservation of SJRWMD regionally significant
ecosystems through land use planning.

Policy: Emphasize conserving and restoring the District's biological diversity
and productivity in land acquisition, land management, and surface water
restorations.

Policy: Coordinate with DOT and other state and regional agencies and local
governments to develop responses to identified transportation needs that will
least impact ecological systems.


Issue: Distinctions between Planning and Permitting. Land use planning
determines the location, type, and density of development to be allowed and the
minimum conditions that development must follow. Permitting programs take land
use designations as given, and attempt to minimize the adverse impacts of specific
projects by requiring design modification and/or compensation. A mistaken belief
that regulatory programs alone can protect environmentally sensitive resources has
led to attempts to substitute permitting for planning. The necessity for both


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programs should be reinforced through strengthened planning programs using
environmental suitability analysis at all levels of government.

Policy: Promote the conservation of SJRWMD regionally significant
ecosystems through land use planning.


Issue: Loss of Biodiversity. Many Florida species and natural communities are not
found anywhere else on Earth, yet Florida appears to be on the brink of biological
impoverishment. Although several agencies administer programs that affect the
potential for recovery of species and natural communities, none of these programs
specifically claims preservation of biodiversity as a primary objective (Florida
Biodiversity Task Force, February 1993).

In addition to its resident wildlife, an important component of the State's biodiversity
are the migratory land birds. For many of these migrants, Florida's forested wetlands
provide a critical stopover or wintering area. The habitat needs of these species,
particularly the smaller birds, are easily overlooked, and the specifics are not well
understood. For example, what is the minimum width of a streamside forested zone,
and which plant communities are necessary to provide insects within an accessible
travel distance from the nest during breeding, for migrants arriving at different
times?

Issue: Declining Biological Productivity. A long-term decrease in the population
size of a species naturally associated with a particular community type may indicate
that the ecosystem is in trouble. Important recreation sites and/or economically
important areas experiencing such a decline should be given priority for restoration
efforts.

Policy: Emphasize conserving and restoring the District's biological diversity
and productivity in land acquisition, land management, and surface water
restorations.


Issue: Loss of Upland Habitat. Upland vegetative communities have no regulatory
protection except for a few local ordinances. Implementation of the State
Comprehensive Plan natural systems goal and related policies to protect ecological
systems and fish and wildlife requires an ecosystem-based approach by the agencies
that regulate activities affecting wetlands.

Issue: Loss of Wetland Functions. Although permit requirements help to lessen the
adverse impacts of development, loss of wetland acreage and functions continues.
Avoidance of impacts through modification of project plans and selection of less
environmentally sensitive sites needs to be emphasized. Where impacts are
unavoidable, expanded enforcement efforts and long-term monitoring of mitigation
sites and conservation easements are needed to improve the success of mitigation.


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Maintaining wetland functions also involves retaining adjacent uplands necessary for
wildlife, providing buffers from development, strengthening the protection for very
small, isolated wetlands, and applying the same standards for offsetting impacts from
mining as from other activities.

Policy: Reduce habitat loss through the environmental resource permitting
program.


Issue: Impacts from Water Withdrawals. Natural systems can be significantly
degraded by excessive water withdrawals. Sufficient surface water flows and levels
are needed to protect instream and adjacent wetland communities. Aquifer levels
also affect wetlands and surface water bodies. Minimum flows and levels need to be
established and applied as constraints in the consideration of consumptive use
permits.

Policy: Use the CUP process to avoid adverse impacts to natural systems due
to water withdrawals.


Issue: Encroachment of Nuisance Exotic Plants. Exotic (non-native) terrestrial and
aquatic plants can destroy habitat by replacing a naturally diverse vegetative
community with a monoculture that does not meet fish or wildlife needs. Invasive
exotic plants in the SJRWMD include Chinese tallow, cogon grass, kudzu, hydrilla,
water hyacinth, and water lettuce. The public has not been well informed,
particularly of the problems the upland exotic species can cause. The District has not
developed a comprehensive plan to control both terrestrial and aquatic species at an
acceptable level.

Policy: Promote the use of appropriate native plants and implement a
comprehensive maintenance control program.


Issue: Land Management Conflicts. Demands for the use of conservation lands are
frequently incompatible with the purpose of ecosystem protection or restoration.
Examples include certain types of recreation, transportation and utility corridors,
airports, sewage treatment facilities, and landfills. Activities necessary to maintain or
reestablish a natural community may meet opposition from nearby residents or
interest groups. Adjacent land uses may affect water quality or wildlife via runoff,
noise or predation. Clear objectives, plans, rules and procedures are needed to
ensure long-term ecosystem viability.

Policy: Give priority to restoration and conservation of ecological systems in
the management of District lands.


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Issue: Transportation Impacts. WMDs and other environmental agencies have not
been involved in planning for the expansion of existing transportation facilities or the
type and general location of new facilities. Therefore, potential ecosystem impacts
have not been adequately taken into account in the planning process. Considerations
should involve expected effects on development patterns and the consequences of
that development, including fragmentation of habitat and impacts to conservation
lands.

Policy: Coordinate with DOT and other state and regional agencies and local
governments to develop responses to identified transportation needs that will
least impact ecological systems.


Location-based Issues and Policies

Issue: Wekiva River. Along the eastern shore of the Wekiva River is a large
wetland, opposite the Rock Spring State Reserve and the Wekiva Springs State Park.
Parts of this wetland have been purchased by the District, and the remainder is
proposed for acquisition.

Issue: Econlockhatchee River. The Lower Econ is bordered by wetlands, flatwoods
and hardwood forest next to agriculture, range, and development. Acquisition
proposals include the large area of agriculture interspersed with wetlands on the
north side of the River. Although it does not show up as significant habitat, this
property is important to the River for its restoration potential and as a buffer from
development. The remainder of the acquisition project area follows the wetlands that
form a continuous corridor connecting with Lake Jesup, the St. Johns River and Lake
Harney.

Issue: St Johns River. Large wetlands exist next to the St. Johns River at the
southeastern and northwestern corners of the County. Most of the wetland/upland
system in the southeastern corner is included in the Econ-St. Johns River Corridor
CARL project, which would connect Seminole Ranch with the Lower Econ project
area on the west side of the River. The wetland west of Lake Monroe extends
between the River and the Lower Wekiva State Reserve.

Policy: Complete the acquisition programs for the Wekiva, Econ, and St. Johns
Rivers. Evaluate the large wetland along the St. Johns River west of Lake
Monroe for addition to the District's Five-Year Plan.


Issue: Lakes Monroe, Jesup and Harney. The extent of development in the vicinity
of these three lakes increases the importance of protecting the remaining
undeveloped lands. Lake Harney is surrounded by a wetland fringe. Lake Monroe
is heavily developed but retains some wetlands on the eastern and western ends.
Wetlands remain around most of Lake Jesup but have large areas of agriculture and


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development adjacent and have been used for cattle grazing. Most of these wetlands
around Lake Jesup are included in existing or proposed public ownership as part of a
water quality restoration project.

Policy Proceed with the Lake Jesup restoration project.

Policy: Promote local government adoption of a shoreline ordinance for the
protection of habitat and water quality.


Minimum Flows and Levels

District-wide Issues and Policies

Issue: Timely Setting of Minimum Flows and Levels. Priority minimum flows and
levels must be set in a timely manner for effective protection of water resources and
water-dependent ecosystems. Priorities and schedules must be developed for setting
minimum flows and levels for surface water bodies to assure their timely setting and
the efficient use of District staff and funds in the process. A planning tool for
prioritizing and scheduling sites for setting minimum flows and levels for particular
lakes and streams has not formerly existed.

Policy: Develop narrative Minimum Flows and Levels criteria for application to sites
where specific minimum flows and/or levels have not been set. Apply the narrative
criteria unless better information is available.

Policy: Set priorities and develop schedules for setting surface water minimum flows
and levels in accordance with criteria defined in the SJRWMD Minimum Flows and
Levels Project Plan.

Issue: Protection of Minimum Flows and Levels. After establishment of minimum
flows and levels, actions must be taken to assure that they are not violated by CUP
withdrawals. Lowered lake or wetland levels, stream flows and levels, and ground
water levels resulting from water withdrawal may cause significant harm to water
resources and associated natural systems or to uses such as recreation and navigation.
SJRWMD must manage water withdrawal and diversion to maintain needed flows
and levels.

Policy: Rely on Consumptive Use Permitting as the primary tool for
protecting minimum flows and levels

Policy: Utilize other pertinent District programs in addition to CUP to
enhance protection of flows and levels in lakes, streams, and aquifers. Such
programs may include, but should not be limited to water shortage, MSSW,
education/outreach, local government technical assistance, structure operation,
and natural systems restoration. (more on next page)


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Policy. Develop cooperative land and water management programs with local
governments and other agencies to protect minimum flows and levels,
including projects to construct and operate structures, coordinate regulation
programs, and develop cooperative demand management programs.


Issue: Technical and Research Needs. Large quantities of data and the
development of technical procedures and criteria are needed to set valid minimum
flows and levels. Sufficient information concerning minimum required hydrologic
regimes (water levels, return intervals, and duration of events) for aquatic and
wetlands flora and fauna is not available. This information is needed to support
ecologically based minimum flows and levels and to more effectively relate minimum
flows and levels to water shortage rules. Such information includes more sites with '
stage data, bathymetry hydrographicc maps), elevation transects through wetlands
adjacent to lakes, and surface-ground water models. Where other uses of water
occur, including water supply, recreation, and navigation, their needs also must be
considered.

Policy: Develop ecologically based lake and stream classification systems and
minimum flows and levels criteria for lakes and streams, including
consideration of optimum management levels and water needs for supply,
recreation, and navigation.

Issue: Local Government Technical Assistance. In addition to establishing
minimum flows and levels, the water management districts are required to provide
information concerning minimum flows for surface water courses and levels for
aquifers to local governments for development and revision of comprehensive plans.
Local governments are required to revise their comprehensive plans at five-year
intervals and are now beginning to prepare for revisions.

Policy. Develop outreach and educational programs to provide minimum flow
and level information to local governments and the public.


Location-based Issue and Policy

Issue: Validity of Wekiva Basin Minimum Flows and Levels. Minimum flows and
levels for the Wekiva River Basin were adopted by rule in 1992 in response to specific
legislation (Subsection 373.415(3), F.S.). However, additional work is always needed
after setting minimum flows and levels to assure that the selected minima are valid.
Occurrence of low flows and levels in the basin since 1992 has added to concern
about the validity of the Wekiva minima.

Policy: Complete validation study of Wekiva River minimum flows and
levels.


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