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Adena Springs Ranch
consumptive use permit application
Updated on 4-9-2014
The permit application
The St. Johns River Water Management District received a consumptive use permit (CUP) application on Dec. 2, 2011, for the Adena Springs Ranch in Marion County. The original permit application requested an allocation of 13.267 million gallons of water per day (mgd).
District staff determined that additional technical information was needed on the application and on Dec. 29, 2011, sent the applicant a Request for Additional Information (RAI) letter.
The applicant on Dec. 14, 2012, requested that its application be amended to an allocation of 5.3 mgd and provided additional information regarding the amended application. District staff on Jan. 11, 2013, determined that additional technical information was needed and sent the applicant a second RAI letter. The applicant responded to the District’s RAI letter on April 18, 2013.
The District issued a third RAI letter on May 17, 2013, and granted three time extensions requested by Adena Springs on the response. The applicant responded to the District’s RAI letter on March 28, 2014. The applicant has elected to split its project into three phases: Phase I (the North Tract); Phase II (the Advanced Practices Pilot Project); and Phase III (the South Tract). With its RAI response, the applicant has modified its pending application to include only the North Tract and has reduced its withdrawal request to 2.389 mgd average daily use. In its RAI response, the applicant also states that it will be filing a second permit application for an Advanced Practices Pilot Project (APPP). The purpose of the APPP is to more accurately determine 1) the level of nutrient treatment provided by proposed retention ponds and 2) the amount of reuse water that can be provided by the retention ponds for irrigation. The applicant further states that a permit application for the southern portion of the project, Phase III, will be pursued in the future and will incorporate the findings from the APPP.
Prior to the permit application being received, District staff met with the applicant to discuss their plans. The applicant originally discussed applying for a permit to withdraw 27 mgd, but that amount was reduced to 13.267 mgd. The requested amount was then reduced to 5.3 mgd and subsequently reduced to the current 2.389 mgd request.
The responses that the District received to the RAI letters are available in the “RAIs” section of the permit application web page.
The permit process
During the permit review process, the applicant and District staff are evaluating the requested withdrawals using groundwater flow models. This evaluation allows District staff to simulate site-specific impacts of withdrawals on the Floridan and surficial aquifers, the environment, water bodies with minimum flows and levels (MFLs), as well as the impacts on other permitted water users. The applicant is working with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and has agreed to meet all best management practices for agricultural operators. This includes meeting all state water quality standards.
One of the water bodies the District is reviewing for possible impacts when considering the application is Silver Springs. Although the MFLs for Silver Springs have not yet been adopted, much of the scientific study on the MFLs has been completed and is available for use by District staff as they review the Adena Springs Ranch CUP application. MFLs are the minimum water flows and/or levels adopted by the District Governing Board as necessary to prevent significant harm to the water resources or ecology of an area resulting from permitted water withdrawals. As with all CUP applications, District staff are reviewing the Adena Springs application to ensure that it is for a reasonable-beneficial use, that it does not interfere with other existing legal water uses, and is consistent with the public interest.
The applicant was issued an environmental resource permit for the construction of a stormwater system at the processing plant by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in December 2011.
Adena Springs Ranch constructed two 4-inch wells on the site of the processing facility. Withdrawals that do not exceed any permitting thresholds (e.g., withdrawal exceeding 100,000 gallons per day actual use, withdrawal capacity of 1 million gallons per day) can qualify for a general consumptive use permit by rule. The District has authorized construction of two 12-inch wells (with associated monitoring wells) to be used in aquifer performance testing. The 12-inch wells are not active at this time.
The Adena Springs Ranch bought a 660-acre sod farm that had an existing consumptive use permit allocation of 0.548 millions of gallons of water per day for sod irrigation. Adena Springs assumed this allocation and is operating under the terms of this permit. This is the only permit for water use they have at this time.
The District has received letters and emails from the public. All input received up to the day that the District Governing Board considers a staff recommendation will be provided to the Board.