Today the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) announced the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will provide $638,550 to a new, 880-foot deep monitoring well in the District’s Most Impacted Area (MIA) of the Southern Water Use Caution Area (SWUCA) in Hillsborough County. District scientists will use data collected from the new well to better assess aquifer system dynamics, enhance groundwater modeling and determine potential water withdrawal-related impacts to the SWUCA and MIA.
DEP Deputy Secretary Adam Blalock stated, “The District continues to be a trusted partner in our mission to protect Florida’s water quality and preserve our state’s natural resources. Today’s announcement is indicative of the Department’s valued partnership with the District and the importance of fostering a proactive approach to identifying critical infrastructure to bolster our combined environmental enhancement efforts.”
The SWUCA is an eight-county, 5,000 square mile area extending from Hillsborough and Polk counties in the north to Charlotte County in the south. It was established in response to District studies which indicated that overuse and the resulting saltwater intrusion threatened groundwater resources there.
The well is a valuable addition to the Coastal Groundwater Quality Monitoring Network that the District has maintained and sampled as a groundwater resource monitoring initiative since 1991. The network currently includes over 400 wells and monitors all aquifers used for water supply purposes in the District.