Data Collection Vital to Water Resource Protection

Data Collection Vital to Water Resource Protection
Posted at 7:57 PM, Oct 07, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-08 12:15:00-04

TALLAHASSEE FL, (WTXL) A partnership between The Northwest Florida Water Management District, and Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Florida Geological Survey recently began drilling a series of new groundwater monitoring wells, one of which is located along the Crump Road entrance to the Miccosukee Greenway.

 The wells will be used to collect data crucial to the development of minimum flows and levels for three priority water-bodies, including Wakulla Springs.

"Establishing an effective minimum flows and levels program is an important part of the District's overall effort to ensure the long-term protection and sustainability of our area's water resources," said Executive Director Jon Steverson. "The District remains committed to a meaningful MFL program, based on the best science and data available."

 Florida’s water management district is required by Florida law to set Minimum flows and levels, so it can establish water flows, levels, and limits necessary to prevent significant harm to the water resources or ecology of an area from water withdrawals.

 "The importance of setting and maintaining MFLs cannot be understated," DEP Deputy Secretary of Water Policy and Ecosystem Restoration Drew Bartlett said. "The construction of these wells is imperative for monitoring water resources in northwest Florida. I applaud the District for making these necessary and unprecedented investments."

The District is working to expand its monitoring network to collect additional ground and surface water data to help evaluate St. Marks River Rise, Wakulla and Sally Ward springs. This includes drilling 14 new groundwater monitoring wells and establishing 9 new surface water monitoring stations, as well as the continued evaluation and expansion of the District's current monitoring network.

 Ultimately, the District's well placement and data collection efforts will provide significant support to an ambitious, yet realistic schedule for MFL completion. The District's Fiscal Year 2014-2015 budget, which began October 1, includes $2.4 million for the development of MFLs.