Achieving Sustainable Water Supply Through Integrated Regional Water Supply Planning, a Case Study: Northeast Florida Water Supply Planning Area
Clark, Terry A.
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In northeastern counties of Florida, traditional groundwater sources are not sustainable to meet future water demands. Recent studies indicate potentially unacceptable environmental impacts associated with using traditional groundwater sources to meet water projected water demands in 2030. A coordinated regional planning approach was developed to meet future water demands. The approach included a public participation process involving the states of Georgia and Florida, regional water management districts, public and private public water supply utilities, local governments and individual citizens in development of two regional water supply plans for northeast Florida. This presentation focuses on three challenging components of the planning process: the application of numeric groundwater models - several numerical groundwater models were used in the planning process to establish baseline aquifer conditions and project potential water resource and environmental impacts associated with future withdrawals; a coordinated stakeholder engagement process - a series of public and technical stakeholder group meetings were held to describe the planning process and to receive public and technical input; the relationship between water use permitting and regional water supply planning - the project sponsors for the planning processes were also permitting agencies for public water supply utilities in the region. This complex relationship with stakeholders influenced the planning process in several ways including many lessons learned. This presentation offers details on the coordinated planning process used to develop regional water supply plans for the northeast area of Florida that protect environmental minimum flows and levels and wetlands while identifying and assessing alternative water supply sources necessary to establish sustainable sources of water to meet future demands through the year 2030.
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