District to Hold Public Workshop for Proposed Water Reservation for Lake Hancock and Lower Saddle Creek

News Release

The Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) invites the public to a workshop on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, at 5 p.m. at Polk’s Nature Discovery Center located at the Circle B Bar Reserve at 4399 Winter Lake Road in Lakeland. The purpose of the workshop is to allow for public comment on the proposed water reservation for Lake Hancock and Lower Saddle Creek.

A water reservation defines a quantity of water set aside from the water use permitting process for the protection of fish and wildlife or public health and safety. The District has developed a proposed water reservation for water that is stored in Lake Hancock and released to Lower Saddle Creek for recovery of minimum flows in the upper Peace River. Minimum flows are limits established by the District’s Governing Board for flowing water bodies to prevent significant harm to the water resources or ecology of an area that may be caused by water withdrawals.

The workshop is an opportunity for local government, citizens and others to provide input regarding the proposed water reservation. Information will be summarized and made available to the District’s Governing Board. At the Board’s February 2020 meeting, Board members will decide whether to approve initiation of rulemaking for the proposed water reservation. Governing Board meetings are open to the public and brief oral comments are permitted on meeting agenda items.

A draft report summarizing the proposed water reservation is posted on the District’s website here. This draft report is currently undergoing independent, scientific peer review, and may be updated prior to the Jan. 8 2020 public workshop. For more information regarding the proposed water reservation, please contact Doug Leeper at 1-800-423-1476, ext. 4272.

Written comments can be submitted via mail or email to Doug Leeper, MFLs Program Lead, Natural Systems and Restoration Bureau, at 2379 Broad Street, Brooksville, FL 34604 or doug.leeper@watermatters.org.