MAITLAND, Fla., May 30, 2017 — Between 2014 and 2016 the St. Johns River Water Management District has realized a net decrease in permitted groundwater of approximately 3.5 million gallons of water per day (MGD). The reduction is a result of several factors but primarily changes in demonstrated need by permit holders.
“We are charged with ensuring sustainable use of Florida’s water and we work to ensure the permitted amount reflects only what’s needed,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “We are committed to a permitting process that protects our water supply, promotes water conservation and allows Florida businesses to continue to thrive.”
The district renews, modifies or issues about 190 consumptive use permits annually. Reductions usually occur during the permit renewal or the permit modification process.
While water conservation efforts are included in permit requirements, the district encourages permittees to improve efficiencies that further reduce their need for water.
Groundwater withdrawals can result in unacceptable impacts, such as drying out wetlands, reducing spring flows, lowering lake levels and degrading groundwater quality from saltwater intrusion. The district’s regulatory program works to ensure these impacts do not occur. Consumptive use permits typically allow water to be withdrawn from groundwater or surface water for reasonable-beneficial uses in a manner that does not interfere with other existing legal water uses and protects water resources from harm.