Apshawa Lake South Minimum Levels

Apshawa Lake South is located in the Central Lakes District of Lake County, Florida, approximately 3 miles north of the city of Clermont. Together with the north lobe, Apshawa Lake South is approximately 98 acres. It was added to the St. Johns River Water Management District MFLs Priority List and Schedule as part of an effort to implement a regional network of MFLs sites within central Florida.

Apshawa Lake South is both ecologically and recreationally valuable, containing deep and shallow marsh habitat that serves as habitat for aquatic species, forage for wading bird species and nesting habitat for the sandhill crane. Because of its location within the Central Lakes District, an important recharge area for the Upper Floridan aquifer, Apshawa Lake South also functions as a regional sentinel site providing an important indicator of the effects of groundwater pumping on this and nearby lakes.

The district is currently completing a reevaluation of the adopted MFLs, to ensure the continued protection of Apshawa Lake South’s environmental resources, as well as to provide regional protection from groundwater withdrawal. The current plan is to submit a Notice of Proposed Rule (NPR) for Apshawa Lake South by the end of 2021. When draft MFLs documents are completed, they will be available on this page.

The district’s MFLs approach involves two separate but interrelated components: 1) MFLs Determination; and 2) MFLs Assessment. The first involves determining a minimum hydrologic regime necessary to protect relevant water resource values. The second involves comparing this MFLs condition to a current-pumping condition to determine the current status of the MFLs. The current-pumping condition could be above or below the MFLs condition. The overall process involves environmental assessment, hydrologic modeling, independent scientific peer review and rulemaking.

Photo of Lake Apshawa from the shore
White clouds over Lake Apshawa

The district typically engages in voluntary peer review of all MFLs on its Priority List. Because Apshawa Lake South is within the Central Florida Water Initiative (CFWI) area, the district will follow the CFWI MFLs peer review process. This includes stakeholder involvement in the selection of the peer review panel as well as stakeholder involvement in public workshops for the review of the models, hydrological analyses and environmental analyses that are used to determine and evaluate proposed MFLs within the CFWI.

As with other CFWI MFLs, the Apshawa Lake South MFLs peer review is divided into two phases. First, the surface water model, including calibration and long-term simulations, will be reviewed by one or more independent technical experts in the field of hydrologic modeling. The second phase of the peer review process will involve an evaluation of recommended minimum lake levels, including the environmental criteria used for MFLs determination and the hydrologic analyses used for MFLs assessment. One or more environmental firms will be selected for review of the MFLs determination and assessment. The model peer reviewer(s) and MFLs determination/assessment peer reviewer(s) will constitute the peer review panel for the Apshawa Lake South MFLs.

District staff updated a Hydrological Simulation Program Fortran (HSPF) model developed for Apshawa Lake South by Dynamic Solutions. This model will be used to support the development and assessment of MFLs at Apshawa Lake South. The intent of the district is to ensure that this HSPF model is developed and implemented based on sound science and modeling principles. Peer review of model application will focus on the appropriateness of the model, input data and calibration procedures, and the proposed uses of model results.

Peer reviewer selection

A stakeholder workshop was held Aug. 15, 2019, at 12 p.m., to discuss the selection process, criteria and solicit feedback from all stakeholders. 

Peer review tasks

The peer review process has been divided into tasks and subtasks, each with deliverables and/or meetings, allowing for stakeholder participation throughout the process.

Task A. Project kick-off meeting and site visit 

Task B. Peer review Apshawa Lake South HSPF model and documentation report

B.1 Review models and documentation

B.2 Peer review public workshop

B.3 Draft peer review technical memorandum

B.4 Peer review public teleconference

  • Teleconference date: Jan. 21, 2020, at 10 a.m.
    • Conference call number: 1-888-585-9008; code: 356-927-138
    • Webinar link

B.5 Final peer review technical memorandum

District responses to model peer review

Final Apshawa Lake South MFLs modeling report

Final Apshawa Lake South MFLs model files

Draft MFLs Report and Appendices

Peer Review – Kick-off meeting: Feb. 15, 2024

Kick-off meeting details

  • Date and time: Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, at 10 a.m.
  • Location: SJRWMD Apopka Service Center
  • District presentation

Peer review meeting:

  • Peer reviewer presentation (coming soon)
  • Attendee list (coming soon)

Apshawa Lake South MFLs peer review technical memo

  • Draft technical memo (coming soon)
  • Final technical memo (coming soon)

Stakeholder review

  • TBD

District responses

  • TBD