Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Groundwater in Florida

Ground water is water that pools underground after it rains and can be harnessed in wells, springs or aquifers and used to fill several needs. There are pools of high quality ground water under much of Florida that is used by nearly 90% of the population for drinking water. As well as feeding into many of the springs and surface lakes and rivers. 

"Groundwater is found in one of two soil layers; The one nearest the surface is the 'zone of aeration', where gaps between soil are filled with both air and water. Below this layer is the 'zone of saturation', where the gaps are filled with water. The water table is the boundary between these two layers. As the amount of groundwater water increases or decreases, the water table rises or falls accordingly. When the entire area below the ground is saturated, flooding occurs because all subsequent precipitation is forced to remain on the surface" (http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/%28Gh%29/guides/mtr/hyd/grnd.rxml).

Florida has several programs to monitor the ground water that work mostly within the state, such as the University of Florida (Watershed Restoration) and with the EPA. The Ground Water Management Program and the Watershed Restoration Program focus on "evaluating and addressing ground water resources that adversely affect surface water quality...Much of this work focuses on springs (www.dep.state.fl.us/water/groundwater/index.htm)." 

Silver Glen Springs tucked away on Lake George near the St. Johns River and in Ocala National Forest.
As well as "focusing on ecological and water quality restoration of the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee...[and] the Indian River Lagoon and St. Johns River Basin"(srwqis.tamu.edu/florida/program-information/florida-target-themes/watershed-restoration/).

"The CERP (Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Program) was authorized by Congress in 2000 as a plan to 'restore, preserve, and protect the South Florida ecosystem while providing for other water-related needs of the region, including water supply and flood protection' (www.nps.gov/ever/naturescience/cerp.htm). This diagram illustrates CERPs goal of their restoration efforts.


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