Title: Hydroscope Newsletter
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00002283/00001
 Material Information
Title: Hydroscope Newsletter
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
General Note: Box 10, Folder 12 ( SF Water Rights-Water Crop - 1973, 1976-77 ), Item 47
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00002283
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

Et Southwest Florida
SWater Management District




In a letter to the District received here on
July 10, the Board of Commissioners of
Imperial Polk County has offered to provide
leadership in Flood Plain Zoning. Points
were made to support the commission's
earlier request that this year's Basin Board
budget for more mapping be spent ex-
clusively in the Polk County portion of the
Peace Basin.
The letter was signed by George P.
Stahlman, County Development Coor-
dinator and Planning Director, and Frank
B. Smith, Jr., Chairman of the Board of
County Commissioners.
^he letter stated, "Polk County continues .'
)be extremely interested in cooperating
"with the Southwest Florida Water
Management District and the Peace River
Basin Board in the effort toward intelligent
management of the existing water
resources. We feel that the single most
important element on which we would be
able to offer a significant contribution to the
effort at this time is in the provision of
leader Flood




The question has been raised many times
recently and with good reason, asking why
St. Petersburg, which owns Weeki Wachee
Spring on the Gulf Coast in Hernando
p nty, should not develop the spring as a
l rce of municipal water supply. After all,
he reasoning goes, St. Petersburg currently
needs only 40-50 mgd (millions of gallons a
day), less than half of Weeki Wachee's
Hydrologist Page 2

A delegation of Polk Countians,
represented by Vice-Chairman J. B.
Thornhill, Jr., of the Board of County
Commissioners; Mr. Cecil Lewis, County
Administrative Assistant; Mr. and Mrs.
Kenneth Morrison, resident En-
vironmentalists; and County Development
Coordinator George Stahlman-Director of
the County Planning and Zoning Programs,
attended the July 6th meeting of the Peace
River Basin Board to express their support
and interest in the mapping program. In
reference to this, the letter said, "Our
purpose, of course, in attending-and in
pointing out the circumstances to you-is to
demonstrate thakthis is not simply a staff
interest but a "deep concern for our
resources with the full backing and the
leadership of the Board of County Com-
In conclusion, the Board's letter said,
"The following points are offered, in
support of our claim for- urgency and
priority, for your consideration:
1. The beginning point of a river basin is
the practical and logical point at which to

Governor Reubin Askew has appointed
Robert E. Vaughn of Brandon and Joe E.
Hill of Leesburg to the Southwest Florida
Water Management District Board of
Governors. The announcement was made
August 2, 1912. Mr. Vaughn replaces Ed-
ward Medard and Mr. Hill replaces Boyce
Williams whose terms had expired.
Mr. Medard is leaving the Board after an
extraordinary eleven years of service to the
District and its citizens. Originally ap-
pointed by Governor Bryant, Mr. Medard
has served under four Florida Governors,
the only man ever to do so. He was honored
by the District one year ago in recognition of
his decade of donated time to the efforts of
water management.
In the letter tat made the appointments

Begin a flood control and water quality
Management program.
2. Polk County is ready, willing and able to
immediately implement and constructively
use the data provided by the mapping.
3. Polk County is presently experiencing
an extensive growth period subjecting the
flood plain to extreme dangers of improper
4. Polk County can generate the necessary
solid official and public support for im-
plementation and has previously demon-
strated this ability.
5. All political subdivisions and public
Agencies have an obligation to give the
taxpayer the 'most bang for the buck' on
expenditures in terms of both current
Benefit and long range protection for future
District Executive Director Dale
Twachtmann termed the Boards en-
thusiasm, "very welcome and I'm sure it
will influence the Basin Board members to
give a careful look at the problems in Polk
i County when they decide where the next
mapping is to be done."

official, the Governor said that the two men
were chosen because of their "outstanding
qualifications and interest in good govern-
ment." The new men will be sworn in at an
early meeting and will serve voluntarily,
without pay, as do all members of the
Governing Board.
As members of the District Governing
Board, each will also serve as ex-officio
chairman of one or more of the basin
boards. The District is divided into eleven
subdistricts, or basins, each with its own
board. Mr. Hill, along with veteran member
Colonel Peter J. Negri, USMC (Retired),
will serve as Ex-Officio Co-Chairman of the
Oklawaha River Basin Board. Mr. Vaughn
will serve as Ex-Officio Chairman of the
Alafia River, Hillsborough River, and
Northwest Hillsbgrough Basin Boards.


.. ,_____,__, .,;,,.. .~,,~,.

-:1, Ri 1 ~ i~,l ~1 .II

Hydrologist C
average flow of about 100 mgd and this 100
mgd should suffice St. Petersburg's growth
for many years to come, perhaps for all
time. Why, then, should St. Petersburg
choose to develop large well-fields in nearby
Hillsborough and Pasco Counties resulting
in reduction of the water supplies available
for Hillsborough and Pasco County
residents and businesses, and con-
comitantly creating local problems in-
cluding lowered lake levels and drying up of
shallow wells? This is a legitimate question
and argument, one that needs explanation.
Likewise, related questions have been
raised regarding the "wasted" flow of other
big coastal springs such as Chassahowitzka
(52 mgd), Homosassa (120 mgd), and
Crystal River (582 mgd), plus such inland
giant springs as Silver, near Ocala (500
mgd), and Rainbow, near Dunnellon (450
mgd). It is believed by many that flow of
these big springs, totalling more than 1.8
bgd (billion gallons a day), should be cap-
tured to supply the water-thirsty urbanizing
areas of southern Florida.
Let us make one point clear to begin with:
the flow from these big springs, even though
not now used for municipal or industrial
uses, is not wasted. Commercial values of
considerable importance accrue from the
uses made of the springs, particularly at
Silver, Rainbow and Weeki Wachee, which
have become well-and widely-known tourist
attractions. But more importantly, some of
these springs give rise to streams such as
Blue Run (Rainbow Springs), Silver Run
(Silver Springs), Weeki Wachee River
(Weeki Wachee Spring), Homosassa River
(Homosassa Spring) and Crystal River
(Crystal River Springs). Such streams
make possible recreation including fishing,
boating, picnicking and camping; the
flushing of wastes; and by their mere
beauty not only increase the ethetic values
of the area but add to the financial value of
properties abutting upon or being near
them. Additionally, Florida law conveys
upon owners of property along streams and
springs riparian rights to the use and
enjoyment of their waters undiminished in
quantity and undegraded in quality as a
result of uses made by other riparian users.
Finally, and of as much importance as any
other use, where the springs or streams
empty into salt-water, their flow helps
maintain the salinity balance required for
the existing ecologic conditions ,favorable
for food fishes, sport fishes, shell fishes and
the entire food-chain upon which the
maintenance of faunal health and growth
depends. In other words, the entire flora and
fauna of the streams and the coastal areas
into which these streams discharge are in
balance with fresh-and salt-water conditions
as they have historically existed. Taking all,
or even most of the fresh-water discharge of
any of these big springs, would result in

great changes In and damages to the florasystems to get the water fro., the mngs of
and fauna of the affected streams, bays and origin to the places of use. O(vi-kusly, if
estuaries. This all adds up to the fact that, Weeki Wachee Spring could support only the
without additional or new development, the development, say, of 10 or 15 mgd, a 60-inch
flow of these big springs is useful in a water main costing about one million dolla-,
number of important ways and each of these a mile would not be needed to transr;.
has its values--monetary values as well as wa to erb er
esthetic values. water to St. Petersburg's Odessa water-
From the foregoing it is apparent that treatment plrt. Instead, perhaps a much
taking some or all of the flow from any of cheaper 164ch or 20-inch main would
these big springs is not the simple act that suffice.
many people seem to think it would be. To It follows, then, that basic hydrologic,
take St. Petersburg's situation as "owner" ecologic and economic ,'udies v. ave to
of Weeki Wachee Spring for an example, itis be made of each and ever:,spr r; ite to
apparent that other "owners" besides thhe determine the quantities of wat'r e at each
city are legally and financially concerned, site can yield without with
Every owner of property on the spring, if riparian rights of land ownv Ers irno', ed or
there be any besides the city, and on the causing ecologic or ~ ev cnvi~l ental
river from the spring to the Gulf of Mexico, damages that cannot b toaer xaed
is invested by his riparian rights to un- I suspect that, as a genera. rul d mosi of
diminished flow past his property and no the water needed tc -. 1 our growing
degradation of the flow caused by acts of populace will not be taken .' u- y t.ro'n the
any other owners. springs themselves (each spring is s .-ply a
It would appear, then, that even though St. large, natural, flowing anxe sian well) but
Petersburi "owns" the spring it does not will be taken from artesia : well ir:ed at
own more than some small and at present strategically located sites p-gra:... om
undetermined share of the flow of the spring the big coastal springs s as not to cause
upon which the flow of the Weeki Wachee additional salt-water encroachment i the
River depends. Unless, of course, St. coastal parts of the Floridan Aquife aAd to
Petersburg were to buy up all the riparian prevent any esthetic or financial damages to
rights of all property owners from the spring the springs themselves. Such strategically
to the gulf. And even were the city to do this, located and carefully operated well fields
there still is the matter of adverse ecologic would be the best way to bring about
impacts on the flora and fauna that would complete development of the potential
come from taking any large quantity of water resources of the District ard would be
spring flow-and thus of the store fow- the responsibility of the Distr'ct to a,'
from Weeki Wachee Spring. Obviously, St. minister and supervise, and woi d be donu
Petersburg cannot put a big pump and on a regional basis with, eventually, all
suction pipe into the spring, or build water- major sources integrate: in one igional
diversion structure of any kind that would water-supply system.
take all or even much of the 100 mgd of I haven't yet gotten araid to e gainingg
Weeki Wachee Spring's average flow. why St. Petersburg, Peei o. o C(unty,
How much could St. Petersburg take? Tampa, Hillsborough County, Port
This is a question that would have to be Richey and others have iu~Lt-.ope ; snd
resolved in the courts unless the city were to well-fields for supply i;o :i:l, d. f
be satisfied with determinations made or going greater distance. i r t pi.a: ,i'e of
approved by the Southwest Florida the big springs. PrintcFl if. is : cause e it
Management District and which, also, is far cheaper to devel op slgt.g- raw
would be agreeable to the various affected water from wells close s. 'bh invest
riparian rights owners and to the several in high-cost pipe liner o d s nt gs.
state and federal, agencies having some Additionally,at the time that eah o tl he
jurisdiction over the flow of navigable existing well fields now in use or under
streams, the safeguarding of fish and development were conceived, it was not
wildlife, and the related land-and water- realized by the planning engineers that
resources of the area. taking large quantities -f water Irl wells
Arriving at their decisions would depend would have serious ar cng-lastL:, adverse
upon findings derived from detailed studies effects upon rights of owner:; of + .. cent
of the hydrology, geology, biology, botany, lands. Not only was it z,'' eai : .. that such
oceanography and ecology of each big effects as the lowering of la'.e levels, drying
spring and streams involved-studies that up of cypress strands or swamps or
have not yet been made or even started. reducing the. yields (o nearby privately-
Such studies will not be undertaken lightly owned wells would occutr, .r. t once these
and will be both costly and time-consuming things happened it % .s deiied by the
but none-the4ess necessary. Then, once the engineers and their ccnsultanri:, hat the
detailed natural conditions are known and a well-fields were the causes.
decision has been reached regarding how Now, however, water-resou. re: studi-
much water can be taken from any or all made by competent hydrorogi.-ts have
springs, the engineers can bring the design proven that large-scale pumping does
of pumps, pipelines, and distribution Hydi olofr' Page 4

- : 1L 1, : I 1 11:11 a I


A detailed study of the impact that two
flood detention areas would have on the
Green Swamp region of central Florida was
presented to the District's Governing Board
at its July 12th meeting in Brooksville.
The two areas which lie adjacent to each
other are the Little Withlacoochee and
Green Swamp Flood Detention Areas and
are part of the original "Four River Basins,
Florida" project approved by the U. S.
Congress in 1962.
Original interest in the area was due to its
importance as headwaters for the
Hillsborough, Withlacoochee, Oklawaha,
and Peace Rivers. The report indicates that
in periods of heavy rainfall water flows
overland contributing significantly to the
flooding of these four major rivers which
has in the past caused a great deal of
damage and human misery. Under the
original project plan rainfall runoff would
be collected forming a 34,500 acre "con-
servation pool" which would not only
provide flood control and certain
recreational benefits but also allow for
continued recharge of the underlying
limestone aquifers.
The Southwest Florida Water
nagement District staff study pointed out
hat long term inundation, as the project
was originally planned, could cause
thousands of acres of trees to be damaged as
well as causing disruption of wildlife that
could not relocate to nearby areas. The staff
report concludes that although recreation
and the increase, of certain aquatic wildlife
and waterfowl would be a benefit, nutrients
could build rapidly from the decaying trees
and undergrowth as well as from fertilizers
washed into the pool from nearby citrus
groves, "...when combined with a slow flow
rate and warm, open sunlit conditions, (high
nutrient levels) will stimulate excessive
aquatic weed growth...eventually limiting
recreational use...and indirectly lowering
the dissolved oxygen content of the water."
Clearing the trees before impounding the
water may not be a feasible answer to the
nutrient problem. According to the report,
"...the problem of disposal of 38,000 acres of
vegetation could outweigh any benefits that
would be gained from clearing." Some
20,000 acres of cypress, hardwoods and pine
and 18,000 acres of open flatwoods consisting
mostly of low woody bushes and palmetto
would be leveled by the clearing.
An alternate plan proposed by the District
()uld eliminate the permanent con-
"servation pool and thus the necessity for
clearing. During periods of heavy rainfall,
the water would only be held long enough so
that a gradual release of the impounded


--,, ---*s a
The Little Withlacoochee and Green Swamp
Flood Detention Areas will be located in the
Green Swamp region of central Florida
which lies just north of Lakeland and east of
Dade City.

water from behind the levees would not
cause the rivers to overflow their banks. The
water would not be held so long, however,
that permanent damage to the trees and
wildlife would result.
During periods of normal precipitation,
the 35,000 acres of wild area could "be set
aside for hunting, wilderness camping,
hiking, nature study, aesthetic appreciation
and other activities conducive to the
maintenance of a natural ecological
In another section the study described
what might become of the area if no project
at all were considered. If the project is not
implemented, the entire Green Swamp will
probably become developed by speculators
and builders as the population in central
Florida grows. Once the area is developed it
will no longer have its potential as'a natural
recharge area or as a flood detention area.
Channelization will then be the only feasible
means of controlling floodwater..."(which)
would cause tragic damage to the en-
vironment as well as loss of potential
recharge of ground water and consequent
diminution of the water crop."
Although the report follows the guidelines
of the National Environmental Policy Act of
1969, it is not the official impact statement
that the law requires. This must be ac-
complished by the U. S. Army Corps of
Engineers which is expected to use much of
this study in its report.

An agreement has been approved by the
Governing Board to allow the city to develop
a well field on 107.5 acres owned by the
District. The property is located about 5
miles east of New Port Richey and was
recently purchased from J. B. Starkey. Mr.
Starkey previously donated 250 acres to the
District to be used for water management
The agreement states that the city has the
right to establish a well field on the
property, but is responsible for construction
of the field facilities including wells, mains
and pumping stations. The District retains
the right to develop the area as a natural
park for the general public, as well as the
right to regulate withdrawals from the field.
George Knoblock, City Manager of New
Port Richey, told the Distric Governing
Board that the citizens of New Port Richey
were grateful to the District and that he felt
this move would be of the utmost im-
portance to all of western Pasco County. The
city has been anxious to have this
agreement reached because a $500,000 grant
from U. S. Housing and Urban Development
(H.U.D.) funds is dependent upon it. Mr.
Knoblock expects the city to have no further
problems in obtaining the grant.
The District plans to make other portions
of the 2250 acres eventually to be acquired
from Mr. Starkey available to other cities
and counties on a "need" basis.
Water Resources Division Director Don
Feaster has instructed the District's
Planning Team to begin assessing the im-
pact that widening and deepening of the J.
D. Young Canal will have upon the local
environment. The canal, between Lake
Griffin and Moss Bluff in Marion County,
was original) excavated in 1924.
Assigned as project leader for the
statement is Bill Courser, staff biologist,
who will be responsible for coordinating the
accumulation of data into a report to be
submitted to the Governing Board upon
The Corps intends to let bids for the work
in April of 1973. The District's report is to be
completed by September 1, 1972. The report
will be used by the U. S. Army Corps of
Engineers in its own envircf.nental impact
study that will be completed prior to
beginning construction.
The Planning Team consists of staff
scientists from the Environmental,
Engineering and Hydrology Dept. and will
include the Senior Scientist, i/M. Gerald G.




Ai 1 .1". -I L LL I- h

create drawdowns in the aquifers that lower
water levels in neaby wells, lakes and
swamps. Also, quantitative hydrologic
studies are currently being made to
determine where in the District new large
wells and well fields can be ,properly
located and the quan cities of water they can
be made to produce without either over-
developing the wateresources or harming
preexisting supplies, or the environment.
Water-management, based on sound
scientific, engine ring and economic
principles can now be applied-and are
being applied in the District under authority
of our Rules and Regulations--to secure the
maximum benefits of water-resource
development with the least adverse en-
vironmental effects.1
In summary, the tme will come when all
the water-resources of the District will need
to be developed, including all that can be
taken from the flow of our big springs, and
from the brackish coastal ground water for
desalination purposes. Such water having
chloride content of up to about 5,000 mg-1 is
practically unlimited and by use of elec.
trodialysis or reverse osmosis processes can
be developed at reasonable costs. Such
complete development will have to be
carefully planned and managed so as not to
harm human values or the environment
and, with the scientific and engineering
knowledge now available in the Districtihis
can be done. But it cannot be done by guess
and b'gosh, or by rule of thumb guesswork.
To be done right, so as to make the utmost
use of our water resources, as we know we
must do, detailed, basic hydrologic, ecologic
and engineering studies will have to be
made. The District staff can do the job, with
help from the other agencies concerned, and
it isour intent that, as a result of our studies
and planned management, not only will
money be saved but our water resources will
be protected for the use and enjoyment of
future generations of people yet to come.
Chief hyorologisT and Senior Scientist


Throughout the District there are
numerous lakes and streams with staff
gages used to record water levels. There are
no recording devices attached to these
gages and when the level changes, there is
no record unless someone has observed the
level and made a note of it.
Fortunately there are numerous con-
scientious citizens throughout the District
who read these gages daily and send their
observations to the District every Friday
afternoon. These observations are all
compiled, cross-checked and distributed as
weekly reports.
This information is vital to many water
management programs, including flood-
forecasting, the determination of water
availability .and floodplain delineation to
name only a few. If these observers did not
provide their services, the District would
have to hire personnel whose only function
would be to go from gage to gage reading
water levels.
The District is pleased to publicly thank
all of these good helpers and to express deep
appreciation for their assistance.

Ground-water levels in the Floridan
Aquifer showed small gains in the northern
and southern sectors of southwest Florida
during the second quarter of 1972, ranging
from 0.4 foot to 1.8 feet. In the highly in-
dustrialized areas of Hillsborough and Polk
Counties water levels continued to decline.
The well at Mulberry showed the largest
decline with 3.8 feet; other wells showing
water-level declines included Bartow 3.3
feet, Brewster 3.2 feet, Ft. Meade 3.1 feet


published monthly by Southwest Florida
Water Management District(R) to share
information with interested citizens of its
fifteen counties

Governing Board
S. C. BEXLEY, JR., Vice Chairman
HERMAN BEVILLE, Asst. Tre;-srrer
Articles prepared by

Alturas 1.5 feet, Wauchula l feet, Plant
City 1.2 feet, Lutz-Odessa 1.1 feet. Water
levels in Hillsborough, Polk, DeSoto and
Hardee Counties ranged from 5 to 5.5 feet
above the levels of last year, and water
levels in Citrus, Charlotte, Hernando, and
Pinellas Counties remained about the same
as a year ago. ("Progress Report Water
Resources Investigations in th. Southwest
Florida Water Management District," U.S.
Geological Survey.)

P. 0. BOX 1363


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