This rule is being established pursuant to s. 373.042 and 373.0421, F.S. The rulemaking will establish minimum flows and levels for the upper and middle reaches of the Suwannee River and their associated priority springs, including four Outstanding Florida Springs. This will have the potential to impact consumptive use applicants and permittees within the Suwannee River and St. Johns River water management districts.
Springs are of great scientific importance in understanding the diverse functions of aquatic ecosystems. Water quality of springs is an indicator of local conditions of the Floridan Aquifer, which is a source of drinking water for many residents of this state. Water flows in springs may reflect regional aquifer conditions. In addition, springs provide recreational opportunities for swimming, canoeing, wildlife watching, fishing, cave diving and many other activities in this state.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.