PALATKA, Fla., Feb. 14, 2017 -- Water use from approximately 96 percent of permitted groundwater allocations across 18 counties is measured and reported to the St. Johns River Water Management District and verified by state-of-the-art science. District staff presented an overview of the district's Consumptive Use Permitting (CUP) program and methodologies used to estimate the total water use within the district at Tuesday's board meeting, the first of a series of informational presentations to correct recent published inaccuracies.
"For nearly 40 years, the district has published estimates of annual water use. These data are just a portion of the more than 8 million measurements that are collected, verified for accuracy, processed and stored each year," said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. "The district's CUP and water supply planning staff have more than 2,000 years of collective experience in planning for Florida's current and future water use. I am incredibly proud of the work of our talented professionals to ensure a sustainable water supply for future generations and to protect our environment."
Water management districts are required by law to implement a strategy for measuring, estimating and reporting water uses and to adopt thresholds for measurement requirements and reporting.
Every six months, permittees are required to submit monthly water use withdrawal data. Staff - and oftentimes third-party certifiers - thoroughly check the data for accuracy using updated, science-based methodologies.
Within the district, CUPs are required for the following:
- Water use greater than or equal to 100,000 gallons per day on average
- Systems with the potential to withdraw 1,000,000 gallons or more in a day
- Wells with a diameter of 6 inches or more
- Surface water intake pipe(s) with a cumulative diameter of 6 inches or more
All of these uses are required to measure their water use on a monthly basis. Additionally, permittees that use less than 100,000 gallons per day are also required to measure their water use and maintain the records for district inspection. As a result of these requirements, the water use from approximately 96 percent of permitted groundwater allocations is both measured and reported to the district.
The district also estimates all of the non-permitted water use within the district and utilizes this data along with the water use reported from the CUP program to create the Annual Water Use Survey. This document reports the total water use within the district's boundaries. The district has published estimates of annual water use data since 1978. These annual water use surveys assess both metered and estimated total water use, with data arranged by source, category of use and county.
The district is responsible for collecting and analyzing large amounts of information to use as a foundation to make informed decisions on managing water resources in all or part of 18 counties.