SRWMD Partners With Dixie County on the Middle Suwannee River and Springs Project

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Vanessa Fultz, Office of Communications
Suwannee River Water Management District
386.362.1001 or 800.226.1066 (FL)
www.mysuwanneeriver.com
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SRWMD partners with Dixie County on the Middle Suwannee River
and Springs Restoration and Aquifer Recharge Project

LIVE OAK, FL, May 16, 2014 – The Suwannee River Water Management District
(District) and Dixie County are partnering to undertake a dispersed water storage
project on about 11,000 acres of privately owned land in northeast Dixie County. These
efforts are part of the Middle Suwannee River and Springs Restoration and Aquifer
Recharge project, which will regionally benefit spring flows, groundwater supplies,
lakes, and wetlands.

The dispersed water storage project will restore the natural hydrology to reestablish
surface water levels by installing flashboard risers or rock dams in area drainage
canals. The drainage canals were excavated in the 1970s to move water off the land to
the Suwannee River. These restoration efforts will hold water on the land that will
disperse water into wetlands, recharge the aquifer, and increase spring flows. The
project would yield about 130 million gallons of water annually – enough to fill 20
football stadiums.

“We are pleased to join forces with Dixie County to implement a dispersed water
storage project that will have regionally significant water resource benefits,” said District
Executive Director Ann Shortelle. “These efforts will rehydrate natural systems,
recharge the aquifer, and provide far reaching benefits to our springs and groundwater
supplies.”

“Dixie County is grateful for the opportunity to partner with the District to make positive
strides toward the health of our springs and groundwater supplies,” said Dixie County
Manager Mike Cassidy. “This project has had continued support from our Board of
County Commissioners. Dixie County and the District have been working toward
implementing dispersed water storage projects for four years, and now with funding
from the District and the State these projects will come to fruition.”

“Our aquifer resources are essential to our environment, economy and livelihood,” said
Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Deputy Secretary Drew Bartlett. “It’s projects like these that help us sustain all three. Congratulations to the Suwannee
District and Dixie County for a job well done.”

The Middle Suwannee River and Springs Restoration and Aquifer Recharge project is a
cooperative partnership between the District, DEP, and Dixie County. The project will
rehydrate ponds and wetlands within the vicinity of Mallory Swamp. It also will enhance
surface water storage and recharge the aquifer to benefit spring flows along the Middle
Suwannee River region including Troy, July, Little River, and Pot Hole springs.
Additionally, these efforts will augment domestic and agricultural groundwater supplies
in Lafayette and Dixie counties.

After the data collection and evaluation phase of the project, the District has estimated
that under normal rainfall conditions, 10 million gallons per day (mgd) may be available
for recharging the aquifer to implement the Middle Suwannee River and Springs
Restoration and Aquifer Recharge project.

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