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Adena Springs Ranch
consumptive use permit application
Updated on 12-10-2013
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.
After reviewing the applicant’s April 18, 2013, information submittal, District staff determined that additional technical information was needed regarding the application. On May 17, 2013, District staff sent a third RAI letter to Adena Springs Ranch. The District on Sept. 16, 2013, granted a time extension requested by Adena Springs Ranch to provide the additional information. On Dec. 10, 2013, the District granted a second time extension requested by Adena Springs Ranch on the third RAI. The applicant has until March 12, 2014, to respond to the District’s request for additional information or to request an extension of the response time frame. When the application is considered complete, District staff will determine if the requested allocation of water meets District permitting criteria.
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 after meeting with District staff. The application currently under review is for 5.3 mgd for agricultural and livestock uses.
The responses that the District received to its RAIs on Dec. 14, 2012, and April 18, 2013, 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. Waiting until the MFLs for Silver Springs are adopted to make a determination on the Adena Springs Ranch CUP may not be an option because Florida law directs the District to take action on an application within 90 days of its completion and make a determination to issue or to deny the permit. An application is deemed complete when all requested information is received so District staff can determine if the application meets the District’s permitting criteria.
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.