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Clay-Putnam MFL prevention/recovery strategy development process
Keystone Heights area lakes
The Keystone Heights area lakes in southwestern Clay County have naturally fluctuated up and down over many decades. The current low water levels in the lakes are largely caused by reduced rainfall over many years, even decades. In this area, the karst terrain of limestone and sandy lake bottoms allows water to naturally seep from the lakes downward into the aquifer system. Some lakes in the area have active sinkholes that drain water into the aquifer. Water withdrawals from surface and groundwater sources can also affect lake levels.
The St. Johns River Water Management District is involved in numerous initiatives to ensure the lakes remain healthy.
The District’s work includes:
- Facilitating a stakeholder process to develop prevention/recovery strategies for lakes Brooklyn and Geneva in Clay County, and Cowpen and Grandin lakes in Putnam County, where minimum flows and levels (MFLs) are currently not being met or are projected not to be met within 20 years. The District and stakeholders have worked collaboratively through a series of public meetings since June 2011 to develop long-term comprehensive strategies to achieve the MFLs.
- Pilot testing various concepts and projects as part of the North Florida Aquifer Replenishment Initiative to protect and maintain regional aquifer levels by capturing significant quantities of water to recharge the Upper Floridan aquifer, which would benefit lakes, springs and wetlands and contribute to sustainable water supply for the region. The projects may include expanded use of reclaimed water and capture/storage of storm water and peak surface water flows throughout the region through a combination of rapid infiltration basins (RIBs), aquifer injection wells, and other regional recharge projects to be constructed at strategic locations within north Florida.
- Partnering with the Suwannee River Water Management District, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, north Florida local governments and other stakeholders to ensure sustainable water supplies and protection of north Florida’s waterways and natural systems. Highlights of the North Florida Regional Water Supply Partnership include developing a shared tool to predict and assess water resource impacts and studying the regional groundwater decline in north Florida. The partners also are committed to developing a regional water supply plan for north Florida that encompasses counties in both water management districts.
District Governing Board members and staff toured Keystone lakes in October 2012 with local stakeholder groups to discuss progress and plans for future lake level improvements in the region.
Updated on 7-23-2013