The Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) will hold an independent, scientific peer review of wetland-based criteria for use in establishing minimum wetland and lake levels beginning this month. A minimum level is the level of groundwater in an aquifer or the level of surface water at which further withdrawals would be significantly harmful to the water resources or ecology of the area.
The review will be conducted by a three-member panel virtually via Microsoft Teams, teleconference and a web board established specifically for the peer review.
The meetings will take place:
- May 23 at 9 a.m.
- May 31 at 1 p.m.
- June 6 at 1 p.m.
- July 11 at 1 p.m.
- July 18 at 1 p.m.
Members of the public can join the meetings virtually and register to use the web board to post comments regarding the peer review process. Links to the Teams meetings can be found on the District’s Boards, Meetings and Events calendar at WaterMatters.org/calendar. The web board will be open for posting comments through July 19, 2022, and open for viewing through June 30, 2023.
The draft documents on the wetland-based criteria to be considered by the panel will be made available on the District’s website at WaterMatters.org/documents-and-reports. Based on findings of the peer review panel, District staff anticipate using the wetland criteria to support development of minimum levels that will be recommended to the District’s Governing Board for rule adoption to support water use regulation and water supply planning.
For more information regarding the scientific peer review, please contact Doug Leeper, MFLs Program Lead with the District’s Environmental Flows and Assessments Section at 1-800-423-1476, ext. 4272.