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Posted on: March 2, 2022

Could sinkhole overflows help meet water supply demands? Study looks to find out.

LIVE OAK, FLA., MAR. 2, 2022 – The Suwannee River Water Management District (District) will soon begin a feasibility study to determine if sinkhole overflow can be used to help meet water supply demands in North Florida. 

At its February Governing Board meeting, a Sinkhole Supplement Investigative Project in the Ichetucknee and Santa Fe basins was approved. This investigative project will locate, map, and compare areas within the Santa Fe and Ichetucknee basins with sinkholes and determine if sinkhole overflow (excess water) can be diverted and captured in retention ponds.  

If so, additional research will reveal if that excess water could be used as an alternative water supply for groundwater withdrawals in the area, such as irrigation, or if it could be retained for aquifer recharge. 

The feasibility phase of the project is expected to be completed later this year.  

This project will assist in the updated Recovery and Prevention Strategy for the Lower Santa Fe and Ichetucknee Rivers, which also includes recharge projects that will contribute to the recovery of the natural system, as well as other project options that focus on conservation and the development of alternative water supplies. 

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, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter, search @SRWMD. 

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