Minimum Flows for the Little Manatee River

The District is scheduled to adopt minimum flows for the Little Manatee River in 2022. Minimum flows are established to help protect the system from significant harm caused by ground and surface water withdrawals.

Overview

Minimum flows and levels (MFLs) are limits established by the District’s 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. The District is scheduled to adopt minimum flows in 2022 for the Little Manatee River, which includes both the freshwater and estuarine portions of the river.

The minimum flows adoption process includes writing the draft report, which is reviewed by an independent scientific peer panel, and then the District considers the peer review comments and may revise the draft report or conduct additional technical analyses.  Stakeholders are informed and a public workshop held before all technical analyses, peer review findings and comments are presented to the Governing Board. The Governing Board considers all information provided before deciding to initiate rulemaking to adopt the minimum flows.

Independent Scientific Peer Review Panel Meetings and Public Input

The independent scientific peer review panel is scheduled to meet and review the findings and recommendations in the draft report. The meetings are listed on the District’s calendar and will include opportunities for public comment on the review process. Details about the peer review panel’s work is accessible through the web forum.

A public workshop is tentatively scheduled for Spring/Summer 2022, and the location is to be determined. Public comments can be submitted during the peer review panel meetings, public workshop, or through the virtual comment card, which will open in Spring/Summer 2022.

Tentative Schedule

  • Fall 2021 – Fall/Winter 2022: Independent Scientific Peer Review Panel Review of Draft Report
  • Fall/Winter 2022: Revised Draft Report Completed and Posted
  • Spring 2022 – Spring 2023 : Virtual Public Comment Period Open
  • Fall/Winter 2022: Public Workshop
  • Winter2022/Spring 2023: Present Recommended Minimum Flows to District Governing Board for Approval