St. Johns River Water Supply Impact Study interim report
The St. Johns River Water Management District is committed to meeting the growing needs of our residents for water while restoring and preserving the health of our aquifers, lakes, streams, and estuaries. It is clear that we cannot rely on groundwater alone to meet future water needs. To do so would cause unacceptable harm to springs, lakes and streams in central Florida. For this reason, we are examining the feasibility and advisability of using various other water sources, including the St. Johns River and its major tributary, the Ocklawaha River. We can use these sources if, and only if, the best science we can collect shows that they would not be harmed.
The draft report below has been prepared as part of our ongoing effort to build the scientific foundation needed to determine whether these rivers can safely become sources of public water supply. This draft report of our Phase I activities is an interim report. We must complete two years of additional research and peer review by the National Research Council before we will be ready to draw conclusions. Nevertheless, the draft report clearly shows the direction of our research, the plethora of environmental issues that we are examining, and the quality of science being brought to bear on each issue.
All who are concerned about these issues are encouraged to read the report and let us know your thoughts. As we move forward with this effort over the next two years, we will consider comments from all parties and revise our work plans and future studies as necessary. In addition, we plan to conduct a technical symposium later this year that will include opportunities for public input.
The district’s work is comprehensive and our efforts to build scientific understanding are open, transparent, objective and credible. At this point, the district has reached no decisions. When we do, the decisions will be guided by the science and by our mission to protect water resources.