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Minimum Flows and Levels

One way that the St. Johns River Water Management District (District) is working to protect Florida's water resources is through its minimum flows and levels (MFLs) program. As a part of fulfilling its mission and statutory responsibilities, the district establishes MFLs for priority water bodies within its boundaries. MFLs define the limits at which further water withdrawals would be significantly harmful to the water resources or ecology of an area. MFLs are one of many effective tools used by the district to assist in making sound water management decisions and preventing significant adverse impacts due to water withdrawals.

Upcoming MFLs Springs for adoption in 2017

Florida Statutes requires the adoption of minimum flows and levels for Outstanding Florida Springs (OFS) by July 1, 2017. The district has eight OFS. The district has adopted MFLs for three and are completing MFLs for the remaining, which include Silver Springs, Alexander Springs, Silver Glen Springs and Gemini Springs.


Silver Springs, Marion County

Silver Springs, Marion County

Silver Springs is a first-magnitude spring located in Marion County. The springs and the associated Silver River are popular recreation destinations enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year. In 1987 Silver Springs and Silver River were designated Outstanding Florida Waters (OFWs) for their many exceptional natural attributes and in 2016 the spring was designated as an Outstanding Florida Springs (OFS).

The district has developed three draft minimum flows for Silver Springs based on criteria established from vegetation, soils and topography data. The recommended MFLs will protect the structure and function of wetlands and aquatic habitats, as well as other ecological functions and values. The recommended minimum flows protect 94 percent of the long-term average flows. Of the allowed 6 percent reduction, approximately 3.5 percent has already occurred, leaving about 2.5 percent of additional allowable reduction. Analyses also indicate, based upon current water use projections, groundwater pumping will cause the MFLs to no longer be met in approximately 2025. Therefore, a prevention strategy is recommended for adoption concurrent with the minimum flows that includes the necessary projects and regulatory measures to prevent the existing flow from falling below the recommended minimum flow.

The proposed minimum flows and prevention strategy for Silver Springs are summarized in the following draft reports and appendices.

Upcoming key dates:

  • March 16, 2017
    Public workshop in Ocala
  • March 16–30, 2017
    Stakeholder comment period
  • April 11, 2017
    SJRWMD Governing Board meeting
  • July 1, 2017
    MFLs must be effective by July 1, 2017

Alexander Springs, Lake County

Alexander Springs, Lake County

Alexander Springs is a first-magnitude spring located in Lake County. The spring and spring run are bordered by national forest lands, including the Alexander Springs Wilderness, and comprise one of the most scenic and biologically diverse ecosystems in the state. Several state and federally listed species have been documented within the Alexander Springs Creek basin. Because of Alexander Springs’ relatively unimpacted conditions, and many natural attributes, the spring boil and the spring run are both regionally important destinations, for swimming, canoeing, kayaking and other recreation.

Upcoming key dates:

  • April 20, 2017
    Public workshop in Palatka
  • April 20–May 4, 2017
    Stakeholder comment period
  • May 9, 2017
    SJRWMD Governing Board meeting
  • July 1, 2017
    MFLs must be effective by July 1, 2017

Silver Glen Springs, Marion and Lake counties

Silver Glen Springs, Marion and Lake counties

Silver Glen Springs is a first-magnitude spring located in Ocala National Forest, between the unincorporated communities of Salt Springs and Astor, Fla. The spring emerges from one of the largest and longest underwater cave complexes in the St. Johns River basin, and flows down a 0.6-mile spring run to Lake George along the St. Johns River. Evidence of human use at Silver Glen Springs dates back at least 7,000 years, and includes the remains of two massive shell mounds built atop mortuaries near the spring pool and the mouth of the spring run at Lake George. The spring is a popular destination for swimming, boating, fishing, wildlife viewing and viewing the spring.

Upcoming key dates:

  • April 20, 2017
    Public workshop in Palatka
  • April 20–May 4, 2017
    Stakeholder comment period
  • May 9, 2017
    SJRWMD Governing Board meeting
  • July 1, 2017
    MFLs must be effective by July 1, 2017

Gemini Springs Springs, Volusia County

Gemini Springs, Volusia County

Gemini Springs is classified as a second-magnitude spring and consists of two spring vents, approximately 150 feet apart, with separate spring runs, which both flow into a 1.3-acre man-made reservoir controlled by a fixed-crest weir. Below the weir, Gemini Springs Run, also known as Padgett Creek, meanders approximately two miles to Lake Monroe.

Upcoming key dates:

  • April 20, 2017
    Public workshop in Palatka
  • April 20–May 4, 2017
    Stakeholder comment period
  • May 9, 2017
    SJRWMD Governing Board meeting
  • July 1, 2017
    MFLs must be effective by July 1, 2017

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St. Johns River Water Management District
4049 Reid Street, Palatka, FL 32177
(800) 725-5922