LIVE OAK, FLA., May 22, 2017 – Suwannee River Water Management District (District) is carefully monitoring the continued deficit in rainfall amounts and the subsequent decline in streamflow and groundwater levels across North Florida. District officials wish to encourage residents to maintain a conservation focus regarding water usage and the adoption of water conservation practices.
The water shortage warning issued by the District’s Governing Board on May 4, 2017 is still in effect for portions of Alachua, Bradford, and Levy Counties located within the District boundary. The warning also includes unincorporated areas of Alachua and Levy counties, in accordance with standing agreements with neighboring water management districts. The warning does not create additional restrictions on water use, and is primarily intended to bring awareness to hydrological conditions and encourage all classes of water users to conserve water to the maximum extent possible. The warning shall remain in effect until July 31, 2017, unless otherwise modified or revoked by the Governing Board.
The southeastern area of the District has received rainfall amounts well below average since the beginning of October 2016. Dixie and Levy counties have experienced rainfall deficits in excess of 13 inches over the last eight months. Likewise, Alachua, Bradford, and Gilchrist counties have experienced deficits of around 10 inches over the same period.
Despite the lack of rainfall, the Floridan aquifer remains within the normal range of water levels in most of the District. However, caution is necessary as levels currently reside in the lower portion of the range (see figure above). The Floridan aquifer is the District’s primary water source. Across the District, Floridan aquifer water levels have fallen to the 30th percentile, compared to long-term groundwater monitoring records that began in 1976. This is not unusual, as water levels often fluctuate due to rainfall and weather patterns.
District staff are carefully monitoring hydrologic conditions within the District and coordinating with neighboring water management districts on an ongoing basis to ensure the utmost protection of our water resources.
Hydrological conditions within the District are reported monthly to the District’s Governing Board and are publicly accessible. To view a copy of the most recent report or for more information on water shortage warnings and ways you can help conserve water, visit www.mysuwanneeriver.com
, search “Water Resources.” For more information, contact Tom Mirti, director for the Water Resources Division at 386.362.1001.
The mission of the Suwannee River Water Management District is to protect and manage water resources using science-based solutions to support natural systems and the needs of the public. The District holds true to the belief of water for nature, water for people. Headquartered in Live Oak, Florida, the District serves 15 surrounding north-central Florida counties.
For more information about the District, visit www.mysuwanneeriver.com
or follow us on Facebook and Twitter, search @SRWMD.