North Florida water supply planning continues to make progress

PALATKA, Fla., Aug. 9, 2016 — The St. Johns River Water Management District continues to move forward with water supply planning in north Florida, addressing governing board and stakeholders’ questions in preparation for the release of the draft for public comment in September. Staff provided an update today to the district’s governing board.

“Water supply planning is important because it seeks the balance between ensuring water is available for people, homes, businesses, agriculture and other users, while at the same time ensuring enough water is available for the environment,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “The planning process involves stakeholders from partnering water management districts, water suppliers, agriculture and the public and helps us identify how much water we will need over the next 20 years, how much we can realistically achieve through water conservation and where water utilities may look to supplement their groundwater withdrawals.”

In July, board members and stakeholders posed a number of questions and comments regarding the Northeast Florida-Southeast Georgia groundwater flow model. Staff have been working diligently to address those questions. Additionally, staff are developing the means for users to easily run the entire model, as well as a way to allow stakeholders to conduct additional analyses of the model.

Staff anticipate presenting the draft North Florida regional water supply plan to the board at its Sept. 13 meeting and releasing it for public comment immediately after the meeting. Workshops are expected in mid to late October to stay on track for board approval in December.