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SJRWMD, SWFWMD propose new groundwater model, solicit public comment

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New model to benefit Districts’ joint work

As part of their ongoing work to ensure a sustainable water supply and protect water resources, the St. Johns River and Southwest Florida water management districts are jointly developing a new groundwater model. Known as the Central Springs Model, this tool is being designed to quantify the effects of current and future groundwater withdrawals on the water resources within north-central Florida.

The districts use models in their regulatory work, to help determine minimum flows and levels (MFLs) to preserve the health of water bodies, to warn about potential impacts from project construction and for water supply planning. The models depend on new and historical data, valuable details collected by district teams engaged in ambient monitoring throughout their jurisdictions. Models are designed to answer specific questions and once the question is identified, the pertinent data are gathered, converted to the proper data type/format for use by the computer model, compared against known factors to ensure accuracy, peer reviewed by outside experts, and simulated to provide an answer. Huge volumes of information are entered into already rigorously tested and proven models to customize each model for the region’s unique environmental and geological features.

As part of the development process, the districts seek public comment prior to adopting a new model. A draft version of the Central Springs Model is expected to be complete and ready for review in October. Once released for review, the districts will accept comments on the draft Central Springs Model through 5 p.m. on Nov. 13, 2023. Stakeholders may submit comments using an online comment tool or via email. Additional information and draft documents will be posted to this page.

Once adopted, the Central Springs Model will replace the Northern District Model (NDM) and the Volusia Model for water supply planning, MFLs development and consumptive use permitting within the St. Johns District. In the Southwest Florida District, the Central Springs Model will be used for MFL development and groundwater evaluations previously performed with the NDM for larger quantity permits to assess potential adverse impacts to springs.

To receive notifications on activities related to the Central Springs Model, email your name and affiliation (if applicable) to

The map below shows the Central Springs/East Coast Regional Water Supply Planning area and the coverage of the new groundwater model.