Title: Schedule for Development of Minimum Flows and Levels, MFL Fact Sheet
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 Material Information
Title: Schedule for Development of Minimum Flows and Levels, MFL Fact Sheet
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
 Subjects
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
 Notes
Abstract: Jake Varn Collection - Schedule for Development of Minimum Flows and Levels, MFL Fact Sheet JDV Box 39)
General Note: Box 29, Folder 6 ( Water Supply Coalition - 1996-1997 ), Item 8
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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Bibliographic ID: WL00004886
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, 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






Schedule for Development of Minimum Flows and Levels


Region Priority Water Bodies Year Submitted
(for which Min. Flows and Levels will be set) to SFWMD
Governing Board
Lower East Coast Surface Waters:
Lake Okeechobee 1996
Everglades National Park 1996
Water Conservation Areas 1996
Biscayne Bay 2004
Ground Waters:
Biscayne aquifer 1996
Lower West Coast Surface Waters:
Big Cypress National Preserve 1999
Caloosahatchee Estuary 1999
Ground Waters:
Surficial Aquifer System 1995
Upper East Coast Surface Waters:
Loxahatchee River 2000
St. Lucie Estuary 2000
Ground Waters:
Floridan aquifer 2000
Kissimmee Basin Surface Waters:
Kissimmee River 2004
Lake Kissimmee 2004
Lake Tohopekaliga 2006
East Lake Tohopekaliga 2006
Alligator Lake 2006
Lake Jackson 2006
Lake Rosalie 2006
Cypress Lake 2006
Lake Hatchineha 2006
Lake Pierce 2006
Lake Marian 2006
Fish Lake 2006
Ground Waters:
Floridan aquifer 2004










COST ESTIMATES


COMPLETION OF REGIONAL WATER SUPPLY PLANS

Lower East Coast..............................................$800,000

Upper East Coast..............................................710,000

Kissimmee Basin...............................................715,000


Total.... ...........................................................$2,225,6P:0



MINIMUM FLOWS AND LEVELS THROUGH 1999

Lower West Coast Surficial Aquifer........................$500,000

Biscayne Aquifer....................................................... $50,000

Water Conservation Areas......................................... $500,00*

Everglades National Park.............................................$400,000

Lake Okeechobee........................................................$750,000

Big Cypress National Preserve.............................$750,000

Caloosahatchee River............................................. $500,000


Total.........................................................................2,950,000


*High likelihood for challenge resulting in high projected legal costs.

"High degree of uncertainty

'*Research plan indicates $1.8 million worth of work in this estuary. A significe.~: portion of this amount is
directly related to support of the minimum flow effort. The amount is high because there is a lack of existing data
and analytical tools.










Minimum Flows and Levels (MFL) Fact Sheet
St. Johns River Water Management District
May 1996

SJRWMD's MFL project plan calls for aggressive action in the areas of applied research &
data collection to support sound recommendations, scientific studies and peer review to set
MFLs, and rulemaking and regulations to implement MFLs. Currently, SJRWMD is
completing MFLs on priority lakes & springs at a rate of one every three weeks (17 per year).
MFLs are being set for major riverine systems as technical studies are completed; the Wekiva
River system has already been completed and others are underway. SJRWMD plans to have
the methodologies and MFLs completed to date peer reviewed by technical experts outside the
agency during the next year. The plan summary provided below assumes a level of direct
funding of at least $700,000 annually (existing funding) and possibly up to $1 M (not including
costs of other related ongoing programs such as surveying, Needs & Sources, & groundwater
investigations and model development).

Project Component Task Status/Schedule
Applied Research to support Lake & stream database/classification Ongoing
development &
implementation
Wetland Hydroperiod assessment Ongoing
Wekiva River Assessment/Validation Ongoing.
Water budget hydrologic models for priority Ongoing
lakes and rivers with MFLs
Surface water/groundwater interface Ongoing
hydrologic model
Setting Minimum Levels & Wekiva River Complete
Flows- (completed)
Blackwater Creek (Wekiva River Basin) Complete
8 Springs in the Wekiva Basin Complete
23 Lakes in the Crescent Ridge & Keystone Complete
Heights Area
Lake Washington & St. Johns downstream Complete
Blue Cypress WMA (Upper St. Johns) Complete

Setting Minimum Levies & 14 Lakes primarily in the Crescent Ridge & 8/96
Flows (technical work Keystone Heights area
complete, rulemaking
planned or ongoing

Setting Minimum Flows & Taylor Creek (Upper St Johns) FY 96
Levels (short-term)
Orange Lake & Orange Creek FY 96
Blue Cypress Lake MCA (Upper Basin) FY 97
13 additional priority lakes (Crescent Ridge) FY 96
Setting Minimum Flows & Sufficient number of remaining lakes to FY 97 to FY 2003
Levels (5 year) protect all lakes with significant potential for
impacts from consumptive use withdrawals
(approximately 100 out of 300 lakes in areas
projected to have some water table drawdown
from groundwater pumpage).










Minimum Flows and Levels (MFL) Fact Sheet
St. Johns River Water Management District
May 1996

SJRWMD's MFL project plan calls for aggressive action in the areas of applied research &
data collection to support sound recommendations, scientific studies and peer review to set
MFLs, and rulemaking and regulations to implement MFLs. Currently, SJRWMD is
completing MFLs on priority lakes & springs at a rate of one every three weeks (17 per year).
MFLs are being set for major riverine systems as technical studies are completed; the Wekiva
River system has already been completed and others are underway. SJRWMD plans to have
the methodologies and MFLs completed to date peer reviewed by technical experts outside the
agency during the next year. The plan summary provided below assumes a level of direct
funding of at least $700,000 annually (existing funding) and possibly up to $1 M (not including
costs of other related ongoing programs such as surveying, Needs & Sources, & groundwater
investigations and model development).

Project Component Task Status/Schedule
Applied Research to support Lake & stream database/classification Ongoing
development &
implementation _
Wetland Hydroperiod assessment Ongoing
Wekiva River Assessment/Validation Ongoing.
Water budget hydrologic models for priority Ongoing
lakes and rivers with MFLs
Surface water/groundwater interface Ongoing
hydrologic model
Setting Minimum Levels & Wekiva River Complete
Flows- (completed)
Blackwater Creek (Wekiva River Basin) Complete
8 Springs in the Wekiva Basin Complete
23 Lakes in the Crescent Ridge & Keystone Complete
Heights Area
Lake Washington & St. Johns downstream Complete
Blue Cypress WMA (Upper St. Johns) Complete

Setting Minimum Levies & 14 Lakes primarily in the Crescent Ridge & 8/96
Flows (technical work Keystone Heights area
complete, rulemaking
planned or ongoing

Setting Minimum Flows & Taylor Creek (Upper St Johns) FY 96
Levels (short-term)
Orange Lake & Orange Creek FY 96
Blue Cypress Lake MCA (Upper Basin) FY 97
13 additional priority lakes (Crescent Ridge) FY 96
Setting Minimum Flows & Sufficient number of remaining lakes to FY 97 to FY 2003
Levels (5 year) protect all lakes with significant potential for
impacts from consumptive use withdrawals
(approximately 100 out of 300 lakes in areas
projected to have some water table drawdown
from groundwater pumpage).




I 4


.. Northwest Florida Water Management District

S Route 1, Box 3100, Havana, Florida 32333-9700
(On U.S. Highway 90. 10 miles west of Tallahassee)
/F.w9P (904) 539-5999 (Suncom) 771-2080 (Fax) 539-4380

Douglas E. Barr
Executive Director
May 13, 1996



The Honorable Buddy MacKay
The Capitol
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0001

Dear Lt. Governor MacKay:

Per your letter of March 7, we appreciate the opportunity to outline our current plans for the
establishment of minimum flows and levels in northwest Florida. As we have discussed previously, due
to the existing constitutional millage cap, our District is precluded from raising the additional ad
valorem revenues needed to undertake a comprehensive program for establishing minimum flows and
levels. Fortunately, through the SWIM program and with additional funds allocated by the Department
and the Legislature, the District has made considerable progress in determining the freshwater needs of
Apalachicola River and Bay. This work is being conducted as part of the ongoing negotiations with
Georgia and Alabama on management of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin and the
interstate disputes regarding future allocations of water. Specifically, the work being performed by the
District is intended to quantify the freshwater required for the preservation and protection of the
Apalachicola River and Bay ecosystem and to help ensure that growth and development in the upstream
states does not adversely impact the continued viability and productivity of the river and bay.

In conjunction with the continuing negotiations with Georgia and Alabama, we believe it would
be advisable to formally establish "minimum" levels of flow for Apalachicola River. Based on the
technical work completed to date, it is unlikely that a single "minimum" flow level will provide the
needed level of protection for the river or bay. From a water resources and environmental perspective,
we believe it will be necessary to designate a range of historical monthly flows and levels that reflect the
natural fluctuations needed for the protection of the diverse floodplain habitats and for maintenance of
the ecological integrity of the bay.

As might be expected, determining the freshwater flows needed to preserve and protect a major
river and bay system in an integrated and technically defensible manner is an extremely complex
endeavor. Nevertheless, with continuing assistance from the Department and others, the technical work
on the freshwater needs assessment should be completed in 1998, at which time we will proceed with the
adoption of the identified flow levels. Given the ongoing interstate disputes and the importance of
Apalachicola River and Bay to the State of Florida, we believe the District's efforts should be focused
entirely on these waterbodies, at least in the near-term.




CHARLES W. ROBERTS E. HENTZ FLETCHER, JR. BENNETT EUBANKS JOHN O. DE LORGE
Chairman Bristol Vice Chairman Quincy Secretory/Treasurer Blountstown Cantonment

M. COPELAND GRISWOLD ROBERT L. HOWELL JOHN R. MIDDLEMAS, JR. GEORGE WILLSON ROGER H. WRIGHT
Chumucklo Apalachicola Panama City Tallahassee Valparaiso


* ** W f~- *' -"~






0 O

Lt. Governor MacKay
Page Two
May 13, 1996




Following completion of the work on Apalachicola River and Bay, similar efforts will likely be
needed on other interstate waters such as the Choctawhatchee/Pea River Basin. In addition, contingent
on the availability of funds, efforts should also be directed at the establishment of minimum levels for
the Floridan Aquifer in selected coastal areas of the District which are experiencing high levels of
growth and increasing demands for water. These include the coastal fringe of Santa Rosa County
(Navarre/Navarre Beach area), the Fort Walton Beach/Destin area of Southern Okaloosa County and
southern Walton County. As noted above, however, clearly the District's top priority for the
establishment of minimum flows and levels should be Apalachicola River.

We hope this information is useful and provides a perspective on the direction and scope of the
District's efforts to establish minimum flows and levels. If you or your staff have any questions or
require any additional information, please call.

Sincerely,



Douglas E. Barr
Executive Director

DEB:pg


cc: Governing Board


V




















LYNETTA USHER GRINER
Chairman
Fanning Springs, Florida

M. HOWELL WARING
Vice Chairman
Madison, Florida

SUZANNE COLSON
Secretary/Treasurer
Cedar Key, Florida

JOHN D. CARVER
Archer, Florida

BOYD W. CLOSE
Perry, Florida

ANN M. CROW
Wellborn, Florida

HERBERT G. DEMOTT
Monticello, Florida

MACEO HOWELL, JR.
Jennings, Florida

DR.EARL STARNES
Alachua, Florida

JERRY A. SCARBOROUGH
Executive Director
Live Oak. Florida

DAVID W FISK
Ass, Executive Director
Gainesville. Florida











RECYCLED PAPER


SUWANNEE
RIVER
WATER
MANAGEMENT
DISTRICT


DEPARTMENT OF
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION


MAY 2 4 1996


May 22, 1996


OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY


Virginia Wetherell, Secretary
Department of Environmental Protection
3900 Commonwealth Boulevard
Tallahassee.. Florida 32399-3000

Dear Secretary Wetherell:

The District is now in the third year of a a seven-year program to develop
minimum flows and levels for the Lower Suwannee River, an area
generally defined by the confluence of the Santa Fe and Suwannee Rivers
south to the Gulf of Mexico. The target date for completion of the program
is the year 2000.

The Suwannee is the largest river in the District and, in Florida, is second
only to the Apalachicola River in total discharge. It is part of a large and
complex ecosystem with only minimal relevant data and, as such,
represents what is probably the most difficult and expensive minimum
flows and levels project that the District could have chosen. However,
given the importance of the river to the region and the threat of
interdistrict water transfer, the Governing Board stated in Policy D.2.3 of
the District Water Management Plan:

"Priority for minimum flows and levels is given to the lower Suwannee
River and the river estuary's freshwater needs. Subsequent priority will be
given to areas with a combination of vulnerable water resources and high
existing and projected demand for water."

The Suwannee program is a major scientific and financial undertaking for
a district with modest financial resources. It is a complex project because it
combines a regional, watershed, and ecosystem approach. For example, the
high interaction of ground water and surface water along the Suwannee
will require us to develop a regional groundwater model to address the
potential impacts of groundwater withdrawals well away from the river.


9225 CR 49 LIVE OAK. FLORIDA 32060 TELEPHONE 904/362-1001 800/226-1066 FAX 904/362-1056


a_-


\C' 1-;









Virginia Wetherell
May 22, 1996
Page 2


The scientific work is being done in cooperation with the United States
Geological Survey (USGS). The total project is estimated to cost 3.3 million
dollars, with 2.0 million coming from the District and 1.3 million from the
USGS.

We feel it is very important for the District to focus on the Suwannee
project and to bring it to a successful completion. We anticipate that the
information from the project will help us better understand how our
ecosystems interrelate and will then help us set priorities for establishing
minimum flows and levels for other water bodies.

We are committed to our responsibility under the law to establish
minimum flows and levels and the Suwannee project is a confirmation of
that commitment. We appreciate the support the Department has given
the District and look forward to working together to protect our water
resources.

Sincerely,



Scarbor gh
Executive Director

JAS/sc
cc: WMD Executive Directors
Estus Whitfield

















Southwest Florida Water Management District
Final Report on Revised Minimum Flows and Levels Schedule






Submitted to
The Florida Land Water Adjudicatory Commission


June 30, 1996


l printed on
Recycled paper























FLORIDA LAND AND WATER ADJUDICATORY COMMISSION (FLWAC) REPORT
MINIMUM FLOWS AND LEVELS



TABLE OF CONTENTS


I. INTRODUCTION


II. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION


THE PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PROCESS
RESULTS OF THE PROCESS

1. SUGGESTED PRIORITY LIST MODIFICATIONS
2. METHODOLOGY FOR SETTING MFLs
3. OTHER POLICY CONSIDERATIONS


III.


THE REVISED PRIORITY SCHEDULE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF
MINIMUM FLOWS AND LEVELS


IV. CONCLUSION









I. INTRODUCTION


This report is in response to the Governor and Cabinet, which
while sitting as the Florida Land and Water Adjudicatory
Commission (or FLWAC), issued a February, 1996 Final Order
directing the Southwest Florida Water Management District
(SWFWMD, or the District) to update its District Water Management
Plan (DWMP) by July 1, 1996 as a means of scheduling priority
Minimum Flows and Levels (MFLs) for aquifers and surface waters.
It represents the culmination of a significant process to refine
the District's priorities as it relates to establishing MFLs.

The purpose of this report is to outline the significant public
input process completed, the key issues raised and how they have
or are to be resolved, and to furnish the final schedule of
priorities. The Final Order provided substantial guidance to the
District in revising its schedule for the adoption of MFLs,
including:


basic criteria for establishing priorities (i.e.,
the importance of waters to the State or region,
and the existence or potential for significant
harm to the water resources or ecology of an
area);

three specific timeframes (by 1999, by 2001 and
beyond 2001) and appropriate emphasis on
geographic areas both within and outside Water
Resource Caution Areas (WRCAs, or Water Use
Caution Areas as they are presently known in the
SWFWMD); and

submitting the amended DWMP (inclusive of the
Priority Schedule) to the Department of
Environmental Protection (DEP) for review and
approval by the July 1 deadline.


The District's efforts to update its schedule for the adoption of
MFLs, as contained within its DWMP, has also been influenced by
the passage of HB 2385, Consumptive Use Permits, recently signed
by the Governor. The Bill, which amends Section 373.042, Florida
Statutes (F.S.), maintained the July 1 deadline for revising the
MFL schedule but also gave the District additional specific
directions. In summary, the Bill:


requires the District to give first priority to
establishing minimum flows and levels for surface
waters and aquifers in Hillsborough, Pasco and
Pinellas counties;











expanded the criteria to include "those waters
which are or may be experiencing adverse impacts
and those waters which are identified as possible
new water supply sources proposing 5 MGD or more
in the future";

called for establishment of MFLs for identified
priority waterbodies by October 1, 1997; and

provided for a "scientific peer review process"
prior to the establishment of an MFL.


The primary impact of the legislation on the District's response
to the FLWAC Order has been revisions to the priority list, and
an extension of the public input process to allow adequate
opportunity for the public to respond to these changes. One of
the factors that has made this adjustment possible has been
numerous staff coordination meetings with DEP and the Governor's
Office.


II. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

The purpose of public participation at the District has always
been to allow those affected by water resource management to have
an active role in its development and implementation. This is
highly consistent with the agency's typical approach to complex
issues, and efforts to maintain accountability. Recent examples
include the development and acceptance of the District Water
Management Plan, evolution and adoption of the Southern Water Use
Caution Area (SWUCA) Rule that establishes minimum aquifer levels
in over half the District (currently before a Hearing Officer)
and the Withlacoochee Work Group.

The District has also assured consistency with State Water Policy
(Chapter 62-40, Florida Administrative Code, F.A.C.) requirements
relative to acceptance of DWMPs or amendments thereto. This Rule
requires that any update to a DWMP be the subject of public
workshops at least four months prior to acceptance by the
Governing Board. The process for updating the District's
schedule for minimum flows and levels was initiated at the
February, 1996 Governing Board meeting.











A. The Public Participation Process


The initial step in any effective public input process is
achieving adequate noticing and public awareness. This was
accomplished through a variety of techniques, including written
notice to all 98 local governments in the District, those
individuals who had participated in the original DWMP development
and others on District mailing lists. Press releases, legal ads
and follow-up with local media outlets throughout the District
were also used. Finally, the choice of venues (discussed briefly
below) was specifically designed so that policymakers at various
levels and those who follow their deliberations would be built
into the process. Coordination with DEP occurred in advance of
any public input meetings to assure both the substance and style
of the process were consistent with expectations. Included in
the discussion was the meeting agenda (see Attachment 1) which
attempted to mix education on MFLs with an overview of the
District's existing program and proposed priority list. The
preliminary priority list was used as a handout, and coincided
with maps shown at each meeting summarizing the respective
timeframes. The stated purpose of each meeting was to seek input
on the preliminary priority schedule, i.e., does the District
have the right waterbodies in the right order?

During the period from April-June, 1996, the District completed
an extensive public input process related to revising its
priority schedule for the establishment of minimum flows and
levels (see Figure 1). In all, 24 different venues were utilized
to assure ample opportunity and obtain optimal public feedback.
This included three regular Governing Board meetings, eight Basin
Board meetings, all six of the District's standing advisory
committees, three Policy committees of the National Estuary
Program (NEP) and four public workshops specific to this topic.
The latter meetings were held in Sarasota, Tampa (2) and Winter
Haven, respectively, to achieve coverage of the entire District.
The overall effort included three additional meetings that served
as a continuation of public input once HB 2385 passed. A second
notice went to all parties, and the media was again utilized to
assure changes brought about by the legislation were communicated
to, and addressed by, interested parties.


B. Results of the Process

This section summarizes the key substantive comments, suggestions
and questions raised by the public input process. A separate,
meeting-by-meeting compilation of input received is available
upon request. For purposes of this report, public input has been
summarized in three broad categories:









Figure 1.


Minimum Flows and Levels Public Input Process


APRIL 3
Well Drillers
Advisory Comnmittee


APRIL 9
Coastal Rivers
Basin Board


APRIL 17
Hillsborough River
Basin Board


APRIL 23
Pinellas-Anclote
River Basin Board


MAY 2
Charlotte Harbor
NEP Policy
Committee


MAY 28
Governing
Board Meeting


JULY 1
Priority
Schedule
to DEP


APRIL 2 APRIL 4 APRIL 16 APRIL 19 APRIL 30 MAY 14
Withlacoochee Green Industry Tampa Public Public Supply Governing Agricultural
Basin Board Advisory Committee Meeting Advisory Committee Board Meeting Advisory Committee









1. Suggested Modifications to the Priority List;


2. Methodology for Setting MFLs; and

3. Other Policy Considerations.

The following sections depict the key issues raised in each
category, and the District response as to how such issues will
ultimately be resolved.


1. Suggested Priority List Modifications

Input Received

Throughout the twenty-four meetings held, only a small minority
of the comments received involved requests to remove, or move
down, any stated priority waterbody. Nearly all suggestions
involved either accelerating the schedule for a given waterbody,
or adding waterbodies. Sample comments received included:

Move the Hillsborough River (all the way to the Green Swamp,
including Crystal Springs, Blackwater Creek and Cypress
Creek) to the top of the 1996-1999 priority list (especially
in light of the work of the Hillsborough River Greenways
Task Force and the Ecosystem Management Pilot Project).

Follow-up letter from the Sierra Club (Tampa Bay Group -
Pasco Committee) urges inclusion of all stressed areas in
Pasco County in 1996-1999 timeframe, including areas
surrounding Crossbar and Cypress Creek wellfields.

Middle Peace River should be moved up on schedule to 1999-
2001 timeframe.

Myakka River should be moved up on the list.

Hernando County requests the District to set MFLs for
Hunters Lake, Hog Pond, and the Weeki Wachee
River/Groundwater Basin within the 1996-1999 timeframe,
before further impacts, whether real or perceived, occur.

In all, a dozen waterbodies (or water resource systems) were
suggested for higher priority, including:

Hillsborough River,
Alafia River,
Myakka River,
Middle Peace River,
Weeki Wachee River and Ground Water Basin,
Hunters Lake,
Hog Pond,






fl F


Little Withlacoochee River,
Lake Teresa,
Bobhill Springs,
Blackwater Creek, and
Intermediate Aquifer.

Several additions to the list were also put forward, including
more Pasco County waterbodies (especially in stressed areas of
the County), Big Fish Lake, lakes Maggiore and Seminole, and a
chain of lakes near Alturas. A request was also made to refine
the "date certain" for the timeframe beyond 2001.

Finally, it was suggested at more than one meeting that the
District consider setting minimum aquifer levels in the entire
Central Ground Water Basin, or the total Northern Tampa Bay Water
Resource Assessment Project (NTBWRAP) area, in lieu of the
Northern Tampa Water Use Caution Area (NTBWUCA). This was
considered especially important since at least two major existing
wellfields (Crossbar, and Cypress Creek) are outside the WUCA
boundary.

District Response

As a result of this input, the District made several
modifications to the draft priority list for MFLs. The area for
first priority establishment of minimum aquifer levels was
expanded to encompass the entire area of the NTBWRAP. This made
good sense from the standpoint of capturing all areas of
potential withdrawal impacts, and coincided with the intensive
scientific analysis of ground and surface water resources (and
their interconnection) included in the NTBWRAP. The District
also modified the schedule dates for the period beyond 2001,
reflecting two five-year periods for specific priorities.

Among the surface waterbodies suggested for acceleration, the
Hillsborough River (including Blackwater Creek and other upstream
components of this system), the middle Peace River and the Alafia
River were all advanced in the schedule. Priority lakes in Pasco
County were added to the list.

The remaining waterbodies suggested for enhanced priority remain
on the overall schedule but were not advanced in the schedule, as
was often suggested. This is based on the rationale that the
District emphasizes scheduling MFLs for resources already subject
to, or anticipated to be subject to, major withdrawals as
identified in our Needs and Sources Plan, the District's WRAPs and
the water supply plans of the West Coast Regional Water Supply
Authority (WCRWSA). Moreover, any schedule must reflect the
limitations of staff and fiscal resources available to address
the overall water management responsibilities of the District.
An assessment of estimated cost impacts of the MFL program shows









an annual investment by the District of approximately $6 million
(inclusive of FY 97 priorities based on HB 2385).


2. Methodology for Setting MFLs

Input Received

Although the primary emphasis of the public input process was on
the revised schedule, a number of comments regarding the means
through which minimum flows and levels are to be set were
received. It is important to note that ample opportunity to
address the specific approach for establishing any given MFL
exists at the time such a level is being considered by the
Governing Board. For example, the setting of lake levels (over
400 are already in place), done under the District's 40D-8,
F.A.C., rule involves notification of property owners,
appointment of a Hearing Officer (a Governing or Basin Board
member) and at least two public hearings in the area where the
lake is located. Similarly, when an MFL is established through a
water use permit (as was recently the case with the lower Peace
River), an open, noticed procedure is followed, including
Governing Board meetings, opportunities for administrative
challenge, etc.

Representative comments received through the public input process
were as follows:

Doesn't scientific data from the Northern Tampa Bay Water
Resource Assessment Project (NTBWRAP) show there is
basically a very nonuniform confining layer that is highly
site-specific (i.e., very leaky in some places, not so leaky
in others), and that unlike the Southern Water Use Caution
Area (SWUCA), cannot have a regional standard applied to it?

When setting levels, such as in the SWUCA, how does the
District look at ground water withdrawals and their impacts
on stream flow, either from the intermediate or from the
Floridan aquifer and how does this fit into this model when
determining what the optimal level should be for the Peace,
Myakka, or some other river?

The District is going to set a level for Star Lake before a
USGS study now underway is completed, and that may result in
not having some important information (including the
relationship to the aquifer in the area) available. How
will the District deal with this situation?

Pinellas County fully supports prioritizing the Northern
Tampa Bay area for MFLs, but believes a permit by permit
basis does not provide adequate regional protection of water
resources.









The District should set MFLs on a regional basis so that all
uses and sources within a region can be taken into account
and accomodated.

Permit-specific minimum levels do not provide advance
planning level information.

Could the District establish MFLs by rule and/or permit, if
necessary?

Will each of the MFLs, as set, and in particular the lakes
and waterbodies, go for public hearings prior to
establishment?

The methodology used will have to look at ground and surface
water interrelationships, and be done basin by basin.


In general, the comments received regarding methodology reflect a
few main points. Should MFLs be established only by rule, or can
they also be set by water use permits? How will the District
achieve timely use of the best information available in setting
MFLs? How will parties affected by the establishment of MFLs be
assured of notification when such action is contemplated? Does
the District recognize, and how will it reflect, the complex
interrelationships that exist between surface and ground waters?

District Response

The District's response to these points reflect the management
flexibility that is inherent in State statutes and policy, as
well as the often underrated complexity of setting MFLs. It is
the District's position that any and all tools or methods that
result in effective resource protection should be available and
used in setting MFLs. In instances, for example, where a major
permitted withdrawal is, or may be, causing significant harm, the
water use permit is a reasonable and effective means of
establishing minimum flows and/or levels. In other areas, where
no such users exist, but protection of a natural resource calls
for it, the use of rules or Board orders may be the best tool.
In each case, other factors such as the hydrogeology of the
affected resource system (e.g., a confined aquifer such as in the
SWUCA vs. the highly diverse and fragmented aquifer of Northern
Tampa Bay), cumulative impacts (as now regulated in water use
permits) and surface/ground water interactions (regularly modeled
and the subject of continuing research) must be considered.

The District has spent (and continues to invest) millions of
dollars on developing the technical basis for establishing MFLs.
In addition, appropriate conditions in permits have required the
development of scientific analysis that can then be verified and
used to set permit-specific limits on resource withdrawals. But









MFLs are only one tool needed and used for assuring resource
protection and adequate water supplies. The District's Needs and
Sources Plan is closely coordinated with local governments and
provides planning level information that allow those governments
to make wise water supply investments. Direct financial and
technical assistance (e.g., Cooperative Funding, New Water
Sources Initiative, Integrated plans, etc.) also play an
important role. Finally, it should be recognized that MFLs must
be periodically revisited to reflect our advancing environmental
knowledge as "best available information".


3. Other Policy Considerations

A number of comments received did not fall cleanly in either of
the previous two categories, but are significant aspects of the
scheduling and implementation of minimum flows and levels. These
are questions that the Governing Board and staff will need to
address as the District proceeds with establishment, including:

Input Received

In setting criteria, could a mechanism allow for flexibility
for people to come first in case of extreme drought? For
example, the MFL is reached just as a farmer is putting in
his crop; or public health and safety needs must be met.


District Response

This question will be addressed on a case by case basis. It is,
however, the reason this District developed and has funded for
over three years a New Water Sources Initiative. The active
development of new sources, particularly alternative sources such
as conservation, reuse, desalination and aquifer storage and
recovery, among others, is imperative. Water supply authorities,
local governments and other suppliers must all cooperate to
develop such sources in order to protect water resources.

Input Received

If minimum flow is established after a body of water has
already been permitted, would the new minimum flow apply?

District Response

Generally, yes. Most water use permits have conditions that
allow the District to effect a new MFL, once established, if
doing so is in the best interest of the resource.









Input Received


Are there plans for coordination with other water management
districts for MFLs, especially aquifers?

District Response

Such coordination is already ongoing at the statewide level
between all districts and the Department of Environmental
Protection, including the efforts of supporting staff work
groups. This work will continue.

Input Received

Local governments are not necessarily using District
information (e.g., Lake Levels) as much or as well as they
should for development decisions.

District Response

This is one example of the nearly infamous "land and water
linkage" issue still alive and well in Florida. The District has
redoubled its efforts to reach out to local governments and find
ways to cooperate and coordinate in planning and implementation
of sound growth management.

Input Received

Shouldn't the term "Minimum Flows and Levels" be replaced
with "Optimum Flows and Levels" to better reflect continued
maintenance of natural systems?

District Response

Such a change would be within the purview of the State
Legislature since this term is statutorily based. The District's
intent is to achieve optimum flows and levels through
establishment of MFLs that reflect natural fluctuations.

Input Received

In light of City (Sarasota's) withdrawals from both the
Floridan, and intermediate, aquifers at Verna Wellfield,
what is the District's policy relating to compliance with
two minimum aquifer levels?

District Response

For now, this wellfield will be subject to the requirements of
the SWUCA Rule (assuming it is upheld by the Hearing Officer) for
its Floridan withdrawals. Establishing minimum aquifer levels









for the intermediate is a future effort, and impacts on any given
withdrawal are not yet known.

Input Received

If minimum flows are set, there has to be assurance that
land uses aren't going to change that will somehow adversely
impact those set levels, otherwise public suppliers or
farmers who think they have a certain allocation of water
they can rely on may lose some of that allocation.

District Response

Again, this is the reason local governments and water management
districts must be true partners in the business of growth
management. Everything that is done on the land has some impact
on water resources and vice versa.





III. THE REVISED PRIORITY SCHEDULE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF
MINIMUM FLOWS AND LEVELS

As a result of refining the District's previously existing MFL
Schedule, and the significant public process described above, the
District has revised its Priority Schedule for the establishment
of Minimum Flows and Levels (see below). Figures 2-6 graphically
depict these priorities.

The District's major priority in the three-county area of
Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas as specified in HB 2385 is
setting minimum aquifer levels, and key lake levels associated
with such aquifer levels, in areas which are or may be
experiencing adverse impacts as identified by the Northern Tampa
Bay Water Resource Assessment Project (NTBWRAP). This includes
all existing and proposed uses of 5 MGD or greater as called for
in HB 2385.

It is the District's intention to use all tools and techniques
available to establish minimum flows and levels. The method used
in any given situation will be determined by a variety of factors
(some of which were noted earlier), but in all cases will be the
means that most effectively protect water and related natural
resources.

(Note: Within each timeframe, water resources are not listed in
any particular order.)









Established by October 1. 1997:

* Floridan Aquifer Minimum Ground Water Levels within the
Northern Tampa Bay Water Resource Assessment Project
(NTBWRAP) area that are or may be experiencing adverse
impacts (including those areas proposed for 5 MGD or
greater)

* Priority Northern Tampa Bay lakes (Lakes Barbara, Cypress,
Dosson, Ellen, Helen, Little Moon, Sapphire, Big Fish and
Sunshine)

* Lower reaches Hillsborough River/Tampa Bypass Canal


Established by 1999:

* Upper Hillsborough River System

* Tampa Bypass Canal Linear Wellfield

* Priority Northern Tampa Bay Lakes (Lakes Eva, Estes, Fuller,
Gibson, Glass, Grace, Little Deer, Little Halfmoon, Little
Hobbs, Marlee, Merry, Morley, Myrtle, Rebel, Round, Thorpe,
Unnamed 35-27-18, Unnamed 2-27-18, Wastena, Williams, Wood
and Zambito)

* Priority Pasco County Lakes (Green, Blanton, Boiler,
Dowling, Ferguson, and Sumner)

* Manatee River

* Braden River

* Shell Creek

* Upper Peace River

* Little Manatee River (schedule subject to resolution of
Orimulsion issue)


Established by 2001:

* Alafia River

* Lower Withlacoochee/Lake Rousseau/Cross Florida Barge Canal

* Weeki Wachee River/Ground Water Basin







Figure 2.
SWFWMD Minimum Flows and Levels
Priority Schedule
By October I, 1997:


Floridan Aquifer
Minimum Ground Water
Levels (NTB WRAP)


Priority Northern_
Tampa Bay Lakes

Lower Reaches-_
Hillsborough River/
Tampa Bypass Canal


0 16 32
scale in miles







Figure 3.
SWFWMD Minimum Flows and Levels
Priority Schedule
By 1999:




Priority
Pasco Lakes
Upper Hillsborough -
River System .. -
Priority NTB LakesI '' '
Tampa Bypass Canal
Linear Wellfield -
Little Manatee River -
Manatee River h
Braden River
N ---
Upper Peace River
W E Shell Creek

S
0 16 32in mies
sem!,- in miles ,







Figure 4.
SWFWMD Minimum Flows and Levels
Priority Schedule
By 200 I: Lower Withlacoochee,
Lake Rousseau,
Cross Florida Barge Canal


Weekiwachee River,
Ground Water Basin


Priority Lakes (District-wide)


Alafia River


Middle Peace River


0 16 32
scale in miles







Figure 5.
SWFVVMD Minimum Flows and Levels
Priority Schedule
By 2006: Northern (
Water Bas
Crystal Riv



Withlacooi






Priority SV
Other Lake

Priority Int
N Aquifer Un
SCoastal coi

s Myakka Ri\
0 16 32
scale in miles







Figure 6.
SWFWMD Minimum Flows and Levels
Priority Schedule
By 2011:
Homosassa River
Chassahowitzka River



Pithlachascotee River ----
Anclote River/
Brooker Creek



Surficial Aquifer ocj
(Highlands/Polk counties) --_ o
T-

N Intermediate Aquifer
(balance of SWUCA)
WV E


0 16 32
scale in miles









* Priority Lakes (see List "A" attached)

* Middle Peace River


Beyond 2001:


Established by 2006

* Northern Ground Water Basin (Aquifer Levels)

* Priority SWUCA/Other Lakes (75 Lakes See List "B")

* Priority Intermediate Aquifer Units within Coastal Counties

* Withlacoochee River


* Crystal River

* Myakka River


Established by 2011

* Anclote River/Brooker Creek

* Pithlachascotee River

* Homosassa River

* Chassahowitzka River

* Surficial Aquifer (Highlands/Polk counties)

* Intermediate Aquifer (balance of the SWUCA)


IV. CONCLUSION


This schedule has also been incorporated into the District Water
Management Plan, which has been amended and submitted to the
Department of Environmental Protection. The Governing Board
accepted this update at its June 25 meeting, and authorized staff
to submit it to DEP. The Board similarly approved the
transmittal of this FLWAC Report to the Governor and Cabinet,
thus meeting the deadline contained in the Final Order.









PRIORITY SCHEDULE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF
MINIMUM FLOWS AND LEVELS SWFWMD


ESTABLISHED BY OCTOBER 1, 1997

Floridan Aquifer Minimum Ground Water Priority Northern Tampa
Levels within the Northern Tampa Bay Bay Lakes
Water Resource Assessment Project
(WRAP) Area

Lower reaches Hillsborough River /
Tampa Bypass Canal

ESTABLISHED BY 1999

* Upper Hillsborough River System Manatee River

* Tampa Bypass Canal Linear Wellfield Braden River

* Priority Northern Tampa Bay Lakes Shell Creek

* Priority Pasco County Lakes Little Manatee River

* Upper Peace River

ESTABLISHED BY 2001

* Alafia River Priority Lakes (See list "A")

S Lower Withlacoochee / Lake Rousseau / Weeki Wachee River /
Cross Florida Barge Canal Ground Water Basin
* Middle Peace River

ESTABLISHED BY 2006

S Northern Ground Water Basin Priority SWUCA / Other
(Aquifer Levels) Lakes (See list "B")

S Priority Intermediate Aquifer Units Withlacoochee River
within Coastal Counties

Crystal River Myakka River

ESTABLISHED BY 2011

S Anclote River /Brooker Creek Pithlachascotee River

S Homosassa River Chassabowitzka River

S Surficial Aquifer (Highlands / Polk Intermediate Aquifer
Counties) (balance of the SWUCA)








Southwest Florida

Water Management District
2379 Brood Street Brooksville. Florida 34609-6899 1-800-423-1476 (Florida Only) or
(904) 796-7211 SUNCOM 628-4150 T.D.D. Number Only (Florida Only): 1-800-231-6103


.n .f.a! ()ppo'riunr Emprtrr


7601 Highwy 301 Norh
Toapo. Flond 33637-759
1-8008360797 or (813) 985-7481
SUNCOM 578-2070


170 Century Boulevord
Bonow Floro 33830-7700
1-800-92-7862 or (941) 534-1448
SUNCOM 5726200


115 Corpohotn Woy
Vence. Fondo 34292-3524
1-800-323503 or (941) 483-5970
SUNCOM 549-5970


2303 Highway 44 West
Invernes. Flo oo 34453-3809
(904) 637.1360


Joe L Davis, Jr.
Chairman. Wouchulo
Roy G. Harrell, Jr.
Vice Chairman. St. Petersburg
Sally Thompson
Secretary. Tampo
James E. Martin
Treasurer. St. Petersburg
James L. Allen
Bushnell
Ramon F. Campo
Brandon
James L Cox
Lakelond
Rebecca M. Eger
Sarosota
John T. Hamner
Brodenton
Curtis L. Law
Lan O' Lakes
Virginia S. Roo
Tampa
Peter G. Hubbell
Executive Director
Mark D. Farrell
Assistant Executive Director
Edward B. Helvenston
General Counsel
































Thro 'iud
11il1\1'h
Scrni'lC


ATTACHMENT 1







DRAFT AGENDA

MINIMUM FLOWS AND LEVELS PUBLIC INPUT MEETINGS



I. INTRODUCTIONS

II. THE WHAT AND WHY OF MINIMUM FLOWS AND LEVELS
(MFLs)

A) WHAT ARE MFLs?
B) WHY ARE MFLs IMPORTANT?
C) WHAT IS THE ROLE OF FLORIDA'S WMDs?
D) WHAT ELSE DO WE KNOW ABOUT MFLs?
E) OVERVIEW OF WATER USE CAUTION AREAS (WUCAs) AND
SUSTAINABILITY

III. MFLs AT THE SOUTHWEST FLORIDA WATER MANAGEMENT
DISTRICT

A) OVERVIEW OF SWFWMD PROGRAM
1) FLOWING WATERCOURSES
2) LAKES
3) AQUIFERS/GROUNDWATER

IV. PROPOSED DRAFT SCHEDULE OF PRIORITIES

V. PUBLIC COMMENT AND QUESTIONS

VI. CLOSING REMARKS










SWFWMD MINIMUM FLOWS AND LEVELS PRIORITY SCHEDULE
LAKE LEVELS ATTACHMENT


JUNE, 1996
List "A"


Establishment by 2001


List "B"


Hernando County


Establishment by 2006


Century
Double Cypress
Highland
Hog Pond
Hunters
Tooke
Voss
Weeki Wachee Prairie

Polk County

Brush
Crews
Davenport
Dinner
Edward
Flora
Gadau
Galloway
Gordon
Ina
Lester
Lizzie
Long
Lucerne
Mud
Myron
Pembroke
Perch
Rattlesnake
Saddle Blanket
Seward
St. Ann Shrine
Star
Sturges
Tillman
Twin
Unnamed #4
Unnamed #10
Unnamed #11
Unnamed #12
Unnamed #13
Unnamed #14
Unnamed #15
Unnamed #18
Unnamed #20
Unnamed (M)


Hernando County

Bonnet Pond
Irvin
Townsen
Unnamed #28

Sumter County

Grassy Pond
Gator Pond

Highlands County

Basket
Blue
Blue
Counterfeit
Deer
Fox
F. Taucher Res.
Grassy Pond
Granada
Hog
Isis
Lillian
Lucas
Lynn
Mud
Pansy
Silver
Unnamed (G)
Unnamed (H)
Unnamed (I)
Unnamed (J)
Unnamed (K)
Unnamed (L)
Unnamed (M)
Unnamed (N)
Unnamed (0)
Unnamed (P)
Unnamed (Q)


Grassy
Helen
Isabell
Lake of the Hills
Little Gordon
Little St. Ann Shrine
Livingston
Loralin
Marrow
Midget
Mountain
Pabor
Ski
Tater Patch Pond
Unnamed #2
Unnamed #3
Unnamed #5
Unnamed #6
Unnamed #7
Unnamed #8
Unnamed #9
Unnamed #21
Unnamed (A)
Unnamed (B)
Unnamed (C)
Unnamed (D)
Unnamed (E)
Unnamed (F)
Unnamed (G)
Unnamed (H)
Unnamed (I)
Unnamed (J)
Unnamed (T)
Unnamed (U)
Unnamed (V)
Unnamed (W)


Polk County

Caroline
David
Dinner
East
Engineers




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