Rainfall deficits add to ongoing dry conditions

An illustrated map of rainfall

A map illustrates rainfall conditions in February across the St. Johns River Water Management District.

An illustrated map of rainfall

A map illustrates rainfall conditions in February across the St. Johns River Water Management District.

PALATKA, Fla., March 10, 2020 — Most of the St. Johns River Water Management District is seeing dry conditions, with 16 of its 18 counties experiencing a 12-month rainfall deficit, including three counties with a 10-inch rainfall deficit. A full report outlining hydrological conditions was presented at the district’s March Governing Board meeting.

Highlights included:


  • Average February rainfall was 0.6 inch below average districtwide.
  • Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns and Indian River counties received less than 2 inches of rain.
  • Baker and Nassau counties had rainfall of more than 4 inches in February, which is above average.
  • Districtwide, the cumulative rainfall total over the last 12 months is 46.2 inches, which is 4.8 inches below the long-term average.
  • Other than Brevard and Seminole counties, all counties within the St. Johns District have a 12-month rainfall deficit.
  • Baker, Putnam and Indian River counties each have a 12-month deficit greater than 10 inches.


  • Upper Floridan aquifer conditions (groundwater levels) at the end of February were in the normal or high range across the district.
  • Groundwater levels are at the 71st percentile districtwide. This means that just 29 percent of the time since 1980 have aquifer levels been higher than they are now.

Surface water flows

  • Surface water flow conditions across the district were in the average range for this time of year, other than the stations on the St. Johns River near Satsuma, which was in the high range, and the St. Johns River near Geneva, which was in the low range.
  • Flow in the St. Johns River’s headwaters near Melbourne was 117 million gallons per day (MGD) and increased downstream to DeLand where flow was 1.3 billion gallons per day (BGD).
  • At the St. Johns River station near Satsuma, flow was 5.86 BGD, while the St. Marys flow was 676 MGD and the Ocklawaha River near Conner was 584 MGD.

Lake levels

  • Lake Brooklyn water level decreased 0.6 feet and is approaching its the long-term average level.
  • Lake Weir remained level with the January readings.
  • Lake Winnemissett levels decreased 0.1 foot.
  • Lake Apopka’s water level is at regulation schedule.
  • Blue Cypress Lake levels increased slightly and remains just below its regulation level for this time of year.

Spring flows

  • The mean monthly flow at Silver Springs decreased to 724 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 468 MGD, in February.
  • Flow in Volusia Blue Spring increased during February, with a monthly mean of 140 cfs, an increase of 5 cfs over January’s report.
  • Flows at Rock Springs and Wekiwa Springs decreased very slightly, with mean monthly flows of 62 cfs and 68 cfs, respectively.

To learn more about rainfall totals and other hydrologic data collected, visit sjrwmd.com.

Visit the district’s Water Less campaign webpage at WaterLessFlorida.com and follow the district on social media to learn ways to conserve water outdoors.