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February 27, 2007

The Southwest Florida Water Management District Governing Board today approved a project to reduce groundwater pumping up to 178,000 gallons per day (gpd) at a Hillsborough County nursery.

The Facilitating Agricultural Resource Management Systems (FARMS) program is a cost-share reimbursement program that conserves water and protects water quality.

The FARMS project, proposed by Holmberg Farms, Inc., is located in central Hillsborough County. Fishhawk Creek flows through the property and enters the Alafia River to the north. The existing water use permit authorizes an annual average groundwater withdrawal of 1,780,400 gpd for the irrigation of the nursery and sod.

The primary goal of the project is to reduce Upper Floridan Aquifer withdrawals through the use of one new and two existing surface water irrigation and recovery reservoirs, improved filtration on existing reservoirs and connecting the three reservoirs to capture and store additional irrigation water.

This project is expected to cost $589,172, of which up to $294,586 will be funded by state appropriations, the District’s General Fund and the District’s Alafia River Basin Board.

A total of 4 million gallons per day (mgd) of ground water has been conserved through operational FARMS projects. It is anticipated that a total of 11.5 mgd of ground water will be offset once all 33 current Board-approved FARMS projects are operational. The FARMS Program is expected to reduce groundwater pumping by 40 mgd over the next 20 years.

 
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