Lake Hancock/Lower Saddle Creek Reservation

A 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.

Overview

The District is establishing a 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. A reservation sets aside water from consumptive use (i.e., from being included in a permitted water withdrawal) for the protection of fish and wildlife or the public health and safety. A minimum flow is the limit at which further withdrawals would be significantly harmful to the water resources or ecology of the area.

The proposed reservation is summarized in a draft report that the District voluntarily had reviewed by a scientific peer review panel. The panel consists of two independent, recognized experts in the fields of hydrology and engineering. These experts reviewed all scientific or technical data, methodologies, models, and scientific and technical assumptions used to support development of the proposed reservation. 

Peer Review Panel Meetings and Public Input

Meetings conducted by the peer review panel occurred November 15 and 21 and December 17, 2019. They included an initial, in-person meeting, with a field trip to Lake Hancock, Lower Saddle Creek and the Peace River, as well as web-based teleconferences facilitated from the District’s Brooksville office. The meetings included opportunities for public comment on the review process.

The District prepared a response to the initial peer review report and an updated, draft reservation report. The review panel subsequently prepared a final peer-review report for the Governing Board.

Details about the peer review panel’s work and the updated, draft reservation report are accessible through a web forum.

Additional Outreach Activities

Staff is meeting with stakeholders to discuss the proposed reservation and to solicit feedback. A public workshop is scheduled to provide information on the proposed reservation and solicit additional stakeholder input. Public comments will be summarized and/or made available to the District's Governing Board to support its consideration of the proposed reservation.

Tentative Schedule

  • September 2019 to January 2020: Stakeholder outreach and meetings
  • January 8, 2020: Public workshop
  • February 2020: District Governing Board meeting – requests to approve staff-recommended reservation and initiate rulemaking
  • Spring or early summer 2020: Rulemaking to adopt reservation rule completed