SRWMD, DEP, And USGS Dive Into Continuous Spring Monitoring

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SRWMDThe Suwannee River Water Management District has issued a new bulletin.  The original bulletin can be seen at this LINK or continue reading below for the original posting:


CONTACT: Abby Johnson Office of Communications
Suwannee River Water Management District
386.362.1001 or 800.226.1066 (FL)

SRWMD, DEP, and USGS dive into continuous spring monitoring

LIVE OAK, FL, July 23, 2014 – The Suwannee River Water Management District (District), the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and US Geological Survey (USGS) have established a partnership to deploy special equipment to continuously monitor the health of springs within the District. This partnership will use new technologies to provide real-time flow and water quality monitoring at Fanning Springs, Ichetucknee Blue Hole, Madison Blue Spring, Manatee Springs, and Troy Springs.
This equipment will take water quality measurements several times an hour which will be available in real-time on the District website. The monitoring will measure nitrate, temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, specific conductivity, dissolved organic matter, chlorophyll, and turbidity.
“Deploying this new technology on these springs, as well other water bodies statewide, will give us a lot more information on cause and effect relationships between nutrients and activities in the area,” said Drew Bartlett, DEP Deputy Secretary for Water Policy and Ecosystem Restoration. “This additional data will lead to more effective and efficient restoration strategies.”
The more comprehensive monitoring of springs will allow a better understanding of how activities in a springshed effect springs. The enhanced data will help implement effective strategies to reduce nutrient loading. Efforts to reduce nutrient concentrations and ensure adequate flows that can adversely impact springs support healthy spring ecosystems.
“Better data means better science,” said District Executive Ann Shortelle. “Better science means improved decision making and project implementation. Real-time data is very advantageous to water managers, stakeholders, and the public. Water flowing from every spring tells a story about natural and human activities within the region and springshed. This new equipment will allow us to better understand the springs’ stories.”
These more frequent and comprehensive monitoring will provide new insights that the current monthly or quarterly measurements could not capture. Springs water quantity and quality data collection formally began in 1932 by the USGS, with intermittent collection of data. The amount and type of data the District will now be able to capture will help all interested persons to understand the health of the springs.
The District, DEP, and USGS collectively maintain a series of river and spring monitoring sites throughout the District to provide water level, flow and water quality data. These data are used for many purposes, including flood protection, water supply planning, minimum flow and level development and water quality restoration projects.
Additional information is available on the District’s Springs webpage

ScrollOSFR commends Dr. Anne Shortelle and the SRWMD, the DEP and the USGS for initiating this monitoring system for better controll on input concerning the condition of the springs.

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