Florida Lake Management Society Annual Conference, Naples, Florida, June 4 – 7, 2007
Water Use Permitting
Evaluation of WUP applications with respect the potential for adverse impacts to wetlands and surface waters primarily involves the potential for surficial water table drawdowns and/or excess irrigation runoff adversely impacting wetlands and surface waters. While many deep agricultural wells extending to the Floridan aquifer are not generally expected to impact surface waters, wells that extend only to the intermediate aquifer may very well cause adverse hydrologic impacts. Furthermore, depending on the amount of pumping and the geology of the wellfield area, public supply wellfields using large wells extending to the Floridan aquifer have been shown to have adverse hydrologic impacts on wetlands and other surface waters. The District and Tampa Bay Water have developed a program in recent years, the Wetland Assessment Procedure, to scientifically assess stress and changes in hydrology for isolated wetlands near wellfields. Potential impacts resulting from excess irrigation runoff are addressed through improved irrigation efficiency and management practices, including tailwater recovery systems and increased use of soil moisture sensors to "fine-tune" irrigation management.
Unauthorized activities in wetlands and surface waters that may result in compliance / enforcement action include both primary and secondary impacts. Among the more common and obvious impacts are the dredging and/or filling of wetlands and other surface waters. The District is responsible for compliance with regulations with regard to agriculture, commercial/industrial businesses, subdivisions, and non-phosphate mining operations and mining that does not involve sorting or grading; however, the District does issue and enforce the terms of WUPs for all mining operations.
Session 7B – Page 3