Wet Winter, Spring, Produces Highest Groundwater Levels Since 2005

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CONTACT: Vanessa Fultz, Office of Communications
Suwannee River Water Management District
386.362.1001 or 800.226.1066 (FL)

Wet winter, spring produces highest groundwater levels since 2005

LIVE OAK, FL, May 19, 2014 – April marked the fifth month of above average rainfall for most counties within the Suwannee River Water Management District (District).
According to the District’s hydrologic conditions report, an average of 6.47 inches of
rainfall fell in April which is almost double the historical average. It has been the 9th
wettest winter and spring since 1932.

Most of the rainfall in April was caused by three systems that dropped up to 14 inches in
the upper Suwannee River basin and 12 inches in coastal areas. Minor to moderate
flooding occurred on portions of the Suwannee and Alapaha rivers. Portions of the
Aucilla and Steinhatchee rivers also experienced minor flooding. The Santa Fe River at
Flooding at the springhouse at White Sulphur Springs. Three Rivers Estates experienced major flooding as the river rose to its highest level since April 2009. Three Rivers Estates has been above flood stage since March 21.

Many springs on the Suwannee River have been or are closed to swimming and diving
due to inundation from river water. Rising river levels can slow or reverse spring flow,
causing river water to flow into springs. In April, the Suwannee River flowed into White
Sulphur Springs for the fourth month in a row. The flow into the aquifer was measured
at 86 million gallons per day on April 16 just before the springhouse became flooded.
Fanning Springs also experienced a reversal in flow last month.

Groundwater levels have been increasing since February, and levels are currently the
highest since 2005.

The high groundwater levels, including the highest levels in 20 years near Mayo in
Lafayette County, will sustain spring and river levels for months.

“When the river drops, we expect to see spring flows we haven’t seen since 1998,” said
District Senior Professional Engineer Megan Wetherington.

To keep informed on hydrologic conditions, visit the District’s website at

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