Lake Apshawa South Minimum Levels

Lake Apshawa South is located in the Central Lakes District of Lake County, Florida, approximately 3 miles north of the city of Clermont. Together with the north lobe, Lake Apshawa South is approximately 98 acres. It was added to the St. Johns River Water Management District MFLs Priority List and Schedule as part of an effort to implement a regional network of MFLs sites within central Florida.

Lake Apshawa South is both ecologically and recreationally valuable, containing deep and shallow marsh habitat that serves as habitat for aquatic species, forage for wading bird species and nesting habitat for the sandhill crane. Because of its location within the Central Lakes District, an important recharge area for the Upper Floridan aquifer, Lake Apshawa South also functions as a regional sentinel site providing an important indicator of the effects of groundwater pumping on this and nearby lakes.

The district is currently completing a reevaluation of the adopted MFLs, to ensure the continued protection of Lake Apshawa South’s environmental resources, as well as to provide regional protection from groundwater withdrawal. The current plan is to submit a Notice of Proposed Rule (NPR) for Lake Apshawa South by the end of 2020. When draft MFLs documents are completed, they will be available on this page.

The district’s MFLs approach involves two separate but interrelated components: 1) MFLs Determination; and 2) MFLs Assessment. The first involves determining a minimum hydrologic regime necessary to protect relevant water resource values. The second involves comparing this MFLs condition to a current-pumping condition to determine the current status of the MFLs. The current-pumping condition could be above or below the MFLs condition. The overall process involves environmental assessment, hydrologic modeling, independent scientific peer review and rulemaking.

Photo of Lake Apshawa from the shore
White clouds over Lake Apshawa

The district typically engages in voluntary peer review of all MFLs on its Priority List. Because Lake Apshawa South is within the Central Florida Water Initiative (CFWI) area, the district will follow the CFWI MFLs peer review process. This includes stakeholder involvement in the selection of the peer review panel as well as stakeholder involvement in public workshops for the review of the models, hydrological analyses and environmental analyses that are used to determine and evaluate proposed MFLs within the CFWI.

As with other CFWI MFLs, the Lake Apshawa South MFLs peer review is divided into two phases. First, the surface water model, including calibration and long-term simulations, will be reviewed by one or more independent technical experts in the field of hydrologic modeling. The second phase of the peer review process will involve an evaluation of recommended minimum lake levels, including the environmental criteria used for MFLs determination and the hydrologic analyses used for MFLs assessment. One or more environmental firms will be selected for review of the MFLs determination and assessment. The model peer reviewer(s) and MFLs determination/assessment peer reviewer(s) will constitute the peer review panel for the Lake Apshawa South MFLs.

District staff updated a Hydrological Simulation Program Fortran (HSPF) model developed for Lake Apshawa South by Dynamic Solutions. This model will be used to support the development and assessment of MFLs at Lake Apshawa South. The intent of the district is to ensure that this HSPF model is developed and implemented based on sound science and modeling principles. Peer review of model application will focus on the appropriateness of the model, input data and calibration procedures, and the proposed uses of model results.

Peer reviewer selection

A stakeholder workshop was held Aug. 15, 2019, at 12 p.m., to discuss the selection process, criteria and solicit feedback from all stakeholders. 

Peer review tasks

The peer review process has been divided into tasks and subtasks, each with deliverables and/or meetings, allowing for stakeholder participation throughout the process.

Task A. Project kick-off meeting and site visit

Task B. Peer review Lake Apshawa South HSPF model and documentation report

B.1 Review models and documentation

B.2 Peer review public workshop

  • Meeting date – December 3, 2019, starts at 9:00 am
  • Meeting location –  SJRWMD Maitland Office, Econ Rm
    601 South Lake Destiny Road, Suite 200,
    Maitland, FL 32751
  • Meeting Agenda
  • Peer Review Presentation

B.3 Draft peer review technical memorandum

  • To be completed

B.4 Peer review public teleconference

  • Teleconference date – TBD

B.5 Final peer review technical memorandum

  • To be completed

District responses to model peer review

  • To be completed

Final Lake Apshawa South MFLs modeling report

  • To be completed

Final Lake Apshawa South MFLs model files

  • To be completed