The District is facilitating an independent scientific peer review of wetland-based criteria for establishing minimum water levels to prevent significant harm caused by water withdrawals.
The Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) is holding an independent, scientific peer review of wetland-based criteria for use in establishing minimum wetland and lake levels beginning in May 2022. 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 forum established specifically for the peer review. Members of the public can join all peer review panel meetings virtually and register to use the web forum 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 or at the MFLs Public Meetings webpage. Draft documents on the wetland-based criteria to be considered by the panel will be available at the Minimum Flows Documents and Reports page.
Based on findings of the peer review panel, District staff anticipate using the wetland criteria to support development of future minimum levels. Adopted minimum levels are used by the District to plan for current and future regional water needs and in permitting programs to ensure that withdrawals do not cause significant harm to the water resources or ecology of the area.
- May 16, 2022: Peer review initiation
- May 23, 2022 (9 a.m.): Peer review panel meeting
- May 23−July 19, 2022: Peer review web forum open for viewing and comment posting
- May 31, 2022 (1 p.m.): Peer review panel meeting
- June 6, 2022 (1 p.m.): Peer review panel meeting
- June 7, 2022: Peer review panel report completed
- July 11, 2022 (1 p.m.): Peer review panel meeting (as needed)
- July 18, 2022 (1 p.m.): Peer review panel meeting (as needed)
- July 19, 2022: Follow-up peer review panel report completed (as necessary)
- July 20, 2022 through June 30, 2023: Peer review web forum open for viewing only