Water News

Aug. 16, 2019

District staff visit the Prairie Creek Diversion Structure Replacement Project site
District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle and District staff visit the Prairie Creek Diversion Structure Replacement Project site in May during the final phase of construction.
Message from Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle

Completion of Paynes Prairie structure provides multiple benefits

Any day that you get to celebrate completion of a project that will benefit Florida’s water resources is a good one! The Florida State Park Service, Florida Department of Transportation and St. Johns River Water Management District staff are celebrating the completion of the Prairie Creek Diversion Structure Replacement Project, located near Micanopy.

Prairie Creek, also known as Camps Canal, is on the eastern border of Paynes Prairie Preserve. A structure is located on the berm separating Prairie Creek from Paynes Prairie Preserve and includes culverts that are key to controlling water flowing into Paynes Prairie, which affects flow into the Alachua Sink. The original structure was built in 1979, and gates were added in 1988. The new structure includes three 54-inch aluminum culverts, gates, new concrete headwalls, and updated guardrail, handrail and fencing. The District contributed $288,000 toward the project’s construction cost of $788,000.

We’re excited by this partnership that played a part in making this project a reality and starting to reap the benefits to Paynes Prairie Preserve and the Floridan aquifer. This project provides multiple benefits, from providing recharge to the Floridan aquifer via Alachua Sink, which can increase water supplies and enhance spring flows, to offering some flood protection for U.S. 441.

Thank you to the team and everyone involved on behalf of current and future citizens.

Above-average July rainfall in most areas, but drier along the coast

Data collected by the district shows July 2019 rainfall was above average in most areas of north and central Florida, but some coastal areas, particularly in the southern portion of the district, were drier. A full report outlining hydrological conditions was presented at the district’s August Governing Board meeting.

District receives statewide award for public outreach
Communications staff posing for a picture
The district’s Office of Communications was recently honored for their outreach efforts. Pictured, left to right: Mathew O’Malley, Mikhail Mochalkin, Teresa Monson, Tiffany Cowie, Robert Hessler, Beth Hickenlooper, Edward Garland, Jennifer Mitchell, Nancy Rubin and Danielle Spears.

The district’s Office of Communications was recently honored by the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) with a Golden Image Award for its Blue Schools Grant Program video.

District receives award for technology innovation
District IT department receiving an award
The district’s application developers were recently honored for their mobile-friendly Water Well Construction module. Pictured, left to right: Kevin Brown, Anil Metla, Nisarg Shah, Nishith Chaturvedi, John Pallepogu, Marlise Viljoen, Lisa Gerber, and Rama Garapati.

A mobile application developed by the district’s Office of Information Technology recently earned recognition for its innovative use of technology. The district’s Water Well Construction Module received the Technology Innovation – Citizens Category award from Government Technology magazine.

Job postings

Collage of district staff working
We have great job opportunities at the district.

Videographer (Senior Creative Services Specialist) (negotiable), Supervising Professional Engineer (Palm Bay), College Interns (Palatka, Lake Apopka), Land Resources Specialist (Palatka), Land Management Specialist (Lake Apopka), Hydrologist III (Palatka), Land Management Technician (Seville), Bureau Chief, District Projects and Construction (Palatka), Field Program Supervisor (Palatka), Senior Professional Engineer (Palatka), Technical Program Manager / Hydrologic Monitoring (Palatka), Professional Engineer (Palatka), Surveying and Mapping Specialist (Palatka)

For more information visit: www.sjrwmd.com/jobs.

Water conservation tip

3D model of a home

How much water do you use? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates each household uses 300 gallons of water daily. Find out what you use with our home water use survey and find tips to save: www.sjrwmd.com/static/waterconservation/survey.

This week in district social media

If you aren’t following the district on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, here are some of the things you may have missed this week….

  • We were excited so many stakeholders joined us Thursday to discuss water for Florida’s future! Working together, we will accomplish so much. Heard about great potential alternative water supply projects and #partnerships. Thanks to the cities of Altamonte Springs, Maitland, Ocala, Deltona, Cocoa, Marion County Utilities, JEA, Flagler Beach, and Clay County Utility Authority for sharing your thoughts with us!
  • Did you see our post about interns? Our interns stay busy. Just ask Lida! During her summer internship, she worked alongside our regulatory staff in the office and in the field, assisting with permit reviews, compliance inspections and geographic information system review for permits and compliance. She also participated in field visits to learn about wetland delineations and became familiar with the wetland delineation rule.
  • Staff members Jennifer and Chris had a blast talking to everyone at Smokey Bear’s 75th birthday celebration last week in Gainesville. Thanks for stopping by our booth to learn about the district’s work.

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