November 26, 2007

The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board approved an agreement today to provide the necessary easements so the Peace River/ Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority can move forward with constructing a reservoir on the RV Griffin Reserve.

The six-billion-gallon reservoir will be used to store surface water drawn from the Peace River, which will reduce the region’s dependency on groundwater. Together with the existing 625-million-gallon regional reservoir, the reservoirs will provide an overall capacity of 6.6 billion gallons.

The reservoir expansion is expected to cost approximately $77 million, with the District funding up to $18.4 million from the Manasota and Peace River Basin Boards as well as the District’s general fund.

The District Governing Board authorized the necessary easements for the Authority to construct the reservoir and conduct the mitigation required by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) permits. According to the permits, the Authority must provide mitigation to offset wetland impacts resulting from the construction of the reservoir. The mitigation project includes the enhancement and restoration of uplands and wetlands.

The District acquired the 5,914-acre reserve from General Development Corporation in 1992 with Save Our Rivers funds. The reserve was purchased for the purpose of expanding a water supply system located on the adjoining land owned by the Authority. At that time, the District and the Authority entered an agreement for approximately half of the land to be used for operating the existing reservoir and an Aquifer Storage and Recovery system.

Building the RV Griffin reservoir is part of the authority’s overall expansion plan, which includes expanding their water treatment facility and the completed five-mile, 20-inch Desoto County Water Transmission Main.

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