Black Creek Water Resource Development project

Updated on 9-27-2018

Kickoff event, March 2017

View the full size PDF project map

Project schedule

July 2017

  • District Governing Board approved the design contractor ranking, authorization of final contract execution and associated budget transfers

FY 2018

  • Design and engineering
  • Land acquisition
  • Phase 1 transmission main construction

FY 2019

  • Permitting
  • Design completion
  • Phase 2 transmission main construction

FY 2020

  • Intake and discharge construction
  • Phase 3 transmission main construction

FY 2021

  • Completion of pipe, intake and discharge construction
  • Phase 4 transmission main construction

The Black Creek Water Resource Development (WRD) Project will help to replenish the Floridan aquifer in northeast Florida using flow from Black Creek, in Clay County.

The project is among several identified in the North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan (NFRWSP) to help meet future water supply demands while protecting natural resources. This project, which will be built over four years in southwest Clay County between Penney Farms and Camp Blanding, focuses on providing recharge to the Upper Floridan aquifer in the Keystone Heights region and Lower Santa Fe basin.

The project will capture up to 10 million gallons per day of water flow from the Black Creek South Fork during high water periods, which is an estimated 75 percent of the time. The water will then be pumped through a transmission system toward Camp Blanding in the Keystone Heights area and discharged to an Upper Floridan aquifer recharge system and into Alligator Creek.

The project is expected to contribute to regional minimum flows and levels recovery and may help improve water levels in lakes in the Alligator Creek system, including drought-stressed lakes Brooklyn and Geneva. Restoration of the lakes is a secondary benefit of the project.

Funding for the estimated $41 million project includes $5 million a year from the Land Acquisition Trust Fund, funded through Amendment One, the Florida Land and Conservation Initiative. The funds are part of a 2017 legislative appropriation championed by Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, Rep. Bobby Payne, R-Palatka, and Rep. Travis Cummings, R- Orange Park, and will be administered by the district.

First year funding was $13.3 million with $5.5 in recurring funds until the project is completed.

Recent milestones
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Florida Department of Transportation permit applications have been submitted.
  • Pre-application meetings with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection are ongoing.
  • 90% of project design is complete.
  • 60% of the intake and discharge design is complete.
  • New aquifer modeling results indicate substantial benefit to the Floridan aquifer and the Keystone lakes.
  • The following reports are complete: Topological survey, geotechnical report, archeological study and endangered species report.
  • Land and easements for the project have been acquired.
Frequently Asked Questions

We are committed to continue keeping the public informed as we move through this process and as additional information is available we will share it with interested parties. To be added to that distribution list please email contactus@sjrwmd.com with the subject line Black Creek.

  • Salinity change will be the equivalent of 1/16th of a teaspoon in a gallon of water.
  • These small changes in salinity will result in unnoticeable shifts in wetland communities both in Black Creek and the St. Johns River.
  • The point at which saltwater meets freshwater will move by 250 feet as a result of this project, which is equivalent to less than the length of a football field.
  • Not significantly. In fact, at low flows, or approximately 25 percent of the time, there will be no withdrawals from Black Creek.
  • When flow levels are average or above average, no more than 10 million gallons a day will be pumped. That’s no more than 4% of the total flow in Black Creek.
  • The maximum pumping of 10 million gallons a day will have little to no impact on the environment, according to a preliminary environmental assessment.
  • This is a water recharge project that will have little to no impact on water quality.
  • Water quality at Black Creek right now is generally good and this project will not change that.
  • The district conducted a preliminary assessment that shows that the proposed quantity of surface water may be safely withdrawn from Black Creek with little to no environmental effects.
  • You can find that report on our website, sjrwmd.com, on the Black Creek page.
  • Additional evaluation will occur as permitting, design and engineering move forward. The project will meet all permitting requirements before construction.
  • The project is just beginning the design and engineering phase.
  • No, the area where EZ Base concerns exist near Camp Blanding are not geographically near the Black Creek Project application site or recharge areas.
  • For additional information about EZ Base, please reach out to the Department of Environmental Protection’s Northeast District Ombudsman, Russell Simpson, at 904-256-1653.
  • The project is among several identified in the North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan to help meet future water supply demands across the region while protecting natural resources.
  • The project will help to replenish the Floridan aquifer in northeast Florida, benefitting all water users in the region.
  • While the project may help improve water levels in lakes in Keystone Heights and throughout the Alligator Creek system, including drought-stressed lakes Brooklyn and Geneva, its purpose is to replenish the aquifer system and is expected to contribute to minimum flows and levels recovery in the region.
  • No, this project has been discussed broadly with the public since May 2013.
  • The Black Creek project is part of the North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan, which was developed through a highly collaborative process among the Suwannee River and St. Johns River water management districts and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, local governments, public supply utilities, environmental advocates and other stakeholders.
  • Over four years, the public water supply planning process included 36 Stakeholder Advisory Committee meetings, more than 50 other stakeholder meetings and two public workshops to engage stakeholders to understand their individual perspectives as related to water resource issues in north Florida.
  • The District is committed to continuing to hold public meetings as the project progresses to continue keeping the public well informed.
  • We have a webpage dedicated to the Black Creek Project at sjrwmd.com/facts/black-creek/ where we keep updated, timely information on the project as well as project history.
  • We’ll continue to share project progress and updates through our District Facebook and Twitter pages, @sjrwmd.
  • To get regular email updates on the project please join our interested parties list by emailing contactus@sjrwmd.com with the subject line Black Creek.