Minimum Flows for the Homosassa River System

The District is reevaluating the established minimum flow for the Homosassa river/spring system. Minimum flows are established to help protect the system from significant harm caused by ground and surface water withdrawals.

Overview

Minimum flows and levels are limits established by the District Governing Board for surface waters and groundwater that are intended to prevent significant harm to the water resources or ecology of an area that may be caused by water withdrawals.

A minimum flow was established for the Homosassa river/spring system in Citrus and Hernando counties in 2013. A proposed minimum flow based on reevaluation of the established minimum flow is summarized in a draft peer-review report (to be reviewed by an external peer review panel) available on the on the District’s Minimum Flows and Levels Documents and Reports page.

The District will voluntarily subject all scientific data and technical methods used to support development of the proposed minimum flow to independent, scientific peer review. A panel of three independent, recognized experts in the fields of hydrology, hydrogeology, limnology, biology and other scientific disciplines will review the proposed minimum flow and prepare a summary report for the District Governing Board. The Board will give significant weight to the panel’s report when establishing a revised minimum flow for the Homosassa River system.

Peer Review Panel Meetings and Public Input

Meetings conducted by the peer review panel will occur in February, March and May 2019. They will include an initial, in-person meeting, with a field trip to the river system, as well as web-based teleconferences facilitated from the District’s Brooksville office. The meetings will include opportunities for public comment on the review process. Details about the peer review panel’s work will be accessible through the Web Forum as soon as they are available.

Additional Outreach Activities

Staff has been meeting with residents, community groups, elected officials, local governments and other stakeholders to discuss the proposed, reevaluated minimum flows for the Homosassa river/spring system, and to solicit feedback.

A public workshop will be scheduled to provide information on the proposed minimum flow and solicit additional stakeholder input. All public comment will be summarized and/or made available to the District Governing Board to support their consideration of the proposed minimum flow.

Tentative Schedule

  • January-June 2019: Stakeholder outreach and meetings
  • June 2019: Public workshop date and location have not yet been determined
  • Fall 2019: District Governing Board meeting – Request to approve staff minimum flow recommendation and initiate rulemaking
  • By end of December 2019: Rulemaking to adopt minimum flow