St. Johns River Water Management District fires back at ‘published’ criticism

St. Johns River Water Management District staff presented an overview of the district’s consumptive use permitting program Tuesday, the first presentation in a series of informational presentations aiming to “correct recent published inaccuracies,” a district news release said. 

“For nearly 40 years, the district has published estimates of annual water use. These data are just a portion of the more than eight million measurements that are collected, verified for accuracy, processed and stored each year,” Ann Shortelle, district executive director, said in a news release. “The district’s (consumptive use permit) 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.”

The presentation on water use measurement and reporting Tuesday included quotes district spokeswoman Teresa Monson said were published or televised misstatements. The quotes included in the presentation were not individually attributed to any publication or person.

“They are not really trying to monitor everyone,” one quote said. 

“We do not even monitor how much the permit holders are using,” another quote said.

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, the district’s news release said.

It is also responsible for collecting and analyzing information to use as a foundation to make informed decisions about managing water resources in all or part of 18 counties, the news release said.

Consumptive use permits 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; and 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,” the news release said. “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 consumptive use permit program.

Monson said future informative presentations would be about “hot topics at the time.”

Palatka Daily News

1825 St. Johns Ave.
Palatka, FL 32177
(386) 312-5200


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