Southeast Volusia Audubon Society, P.O. Box 46, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32170;

December 2013 SJRWMD Update

District Board approves Blue Spring, Volusia lake flows and levels prevention and recovery strategy

The St. Johns River Water Management District's Governing Board today approved a comprehensive strategy to protect Blue Spring and six Volusia County lakes from current and potential impacts of groundwater withdrawals.

The Volusia minimum flows and levels (MFLs) prevention and recovery strategy calls for groundwater withdrawals to be maintained at or below sustainable limits, or for impacts from groundwater withdrawals to be mitigated through reclaimed water, aquifer recharge and water supply projects, as well as through conservation and regulatory measures.

"The District has worked diligently with local government partners in Volusia County since the MFL was established in 2006 to identify projects and management strategies that will protect Blue Spring and also supports continued economic growth in and around Volusia County," said Hal Wilkening, director of the District's Division of Strategic Deliverables. "This plan provides assurances that Blue Spring and the lakes will achieve their MFLs and allows for flexibility for project partners to make adjustments as projects move forward."

Approximately $135 million in potential capital projects have been identified to address MFLs adopted for Volusia Blue Spring and Big, Daugharty, Helen, Hires, Indian and Three Island lakes. More than $16 million in cooperative agreements between the District, local governments and water supply utilities are currently in place for 10 projects.

The approach adopted by the Board includes:

Projects and measures proposed in the strategy will help to achieve MFLs in Blue Spring and the affected lakes and to meet future water demands for public water supply utilities and other water users throughout Volusia County. These include five reclaimed water, two aquifer recharge and two water supply projects proposed by the West Volusia Water Suppliers; a reclaimed water project proposed by the city of Ormond Beach; and a wellfield optimization project proposed by the city of Daytona Beach.

MFLs are established to define sustainable water use while protecting the water resources from significant harm caused by permitted water withdrawals. Prevention and recovery strategies are developed and implemented to ensure that MFLs will not go below their minimum levels (prevention), or will recover to their required levels (recovery).

The Volusia Prevention and Recovery Strategy is a key component of the 2013 District Water Supply Plan, which is under development. The draft water supply plan is scheduled to be completed in December.

Ed. Note. I did not get an update from Ed for this month's eSkimmer News but saw this in one of the regular emails I get from the district.  I thought you might find it interesting.