Lower Santa Fe & Ichetucknee Rivers & Associated Springs Minimum Flows & Levels
Florida Department of Environmental Protection Adoption of Suwannee River Water Management District Minimum Flows & Levels (MFLs)
The Lower Santa Fe and Ichetucknee Rivers and Priority Springs are water bodies that have the potential to be affected by withdrawals in an adjacent water management district (WMD) for which the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) adoption of a reservation or MFL is appropriate pursuant to Section 373.042(2) of the Florida Statutes.
In June 2013, the Suwannee River Water Management District (District) Governing Board requested that DEP adopt MFLs it proposed for the Lower Santa Fe and Ichetucknee Rivers and Priority Springs. The decision was based on the technical work conducted for the proposed MFLs by District staff, and the potential for cross-basin impacts originating outside of the District. District staff had also assessed the streamflows observed in the recent historical record and recent trends in the flow regime, and determined that a recovery strategy was required.
The Lower Santa Fe and Ichetucknee Rivers and Priority Springs MFLs were adopted by DEP since withdrawals outside of the Suwannee River Water Management District's boundaries have the potential to be affected by withdrawals in an adjacent WMD. DEP's proposed rule was ratified by the Legislature (House Bill 7081) and signed into law by Governor Scott with an effective date of June 10, 2015 (Chapter 2015-128, Laws of Florida). For more information on DEP's Lower Santa Fe and Ichetucknee Rivers and Priority Springs MFL rule, please visit their Water Resource Management Rules page.
Supporting Technical Data & Reports
Please note: Some files linked from this page will take a long time to download, especially with slower Internet connections such as dial-up.
The final technical report for the Lower Santa Fe and Ichetucknee Rivers and Priority Springs MFL is available for download. The report file size has been compressed for shorter download times. While the resolution should be adequate for online reading, please be aware that the quality of portions such as figures, may be reduced. A higher resolution file of the document may be obtained upon request.
View all available appendices for the final report.
Surface Water Modeling
The District uses river simulation modeling to better understand how our rivers behave and to interpolate water level and flow information at locations distant from long-term gauges.
The tool used for this purpose is the Hydrologic Engineering Centers River Analysis System (HEC- RAS). HEC-RAS allows the performance of one-dimensional steady flow, unsteady flow, sediment transport/mobile bed computations, and water temperature modeling. The general model code is available from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on their HEC-RAS page.
The general model code is applied locally using site-specific information on bathymetry and river conditions. The resulting models for specific rivers are available from the District as they are developed. The models used by the District for minimum flows and levels contain additional flow, stage, and survey data, as opposed to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) HEC-RAS models, which are designed for flood study purposes only.
HEC-RAS Model Files:
The District prepares and uses this information for its own purposes and this information may not be suitable for other purposes. This information is provided as is. Any use of trade, product, or firm names in this publication is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the District. Although the computer program has been used by the District, no warranty, expressed or implied, is made by the District as to the accuracy and functionality of the program and related program material. Nor shall the fact of distribution constitute any such warranty, and no responsibility is assumed by the District in connection therewith.
Voluntary Peer Review
The District contracted with the University of Florida Water Institute to conduct a voluntary, independent scientific Peer Review for the Lower Santa Fe and Ichetucknee Rivers and Priority Springs MFLs. Emails and other documentation are available online from the Lower Santa Fe Peer Review folder in our Document Center.
Download the Final Peer Review Report (PDF), updated December 10, 2013.
The voluntary, independent scientific Peer Review was given significant weight in developing the Final Minimum Flows and Levels Report for the Lower Santa Fe and Ichetucknee Rivers and Priority Springs. Additionally, public comments were considered during Final Report development. The Resolution Document, linked below, contains the submitted public and peer review comments with the District's response. The comments are organized by group in order to create efficiency in the District responses.
Updated December 17, 2013: Download the Resolution Document (PDF).
The final version of the Recovery Strategy for the Lower Santa Fe and Ichetucknee Rivers and Priority Springs is available for review.
Download the Recovery Strategy (PDF), which reflects DEP's Notice of Change published on April 8, 2014 and updated on April 21, 2014.