Minimum Flows for the Lower Hillsborough River

The District is evaluating the established strategy needed to recover minimum flows adopted for the Lower Hillsborough River. Minimum flows are established to help protect the system from significant harm caused by ground and surface water withdrawals.

Overview

Minimum flows are limits established by the District’s Governing Board for surface watercourses that are intended to prevent significant harm to the water resources or ecology of an area that may be caused by further water withdrawals. Florida Statutes require the development of a recovery strategy if the existing flow in a water body is below the applicable minimum flow.

In 2007, revised minimum flows were adopted and a recovery strategy was developed for the Lower Hillsborough River. A joint funding agreement with the City of Tampa to implement recovery projects was also incorporated into the rule. The recovery strategy requires that in 2013, and for each five-year period through 2023, the District shall evaluate the strategy and implementation. The first five-year evaluation was published in 2015. The second five-year evaluation was provided to the District’s Governing Board in May 2020.

Outreach Activities

The District will be scheduling a stakeholder meeting in late summer 2020 to review ongoing and proposed data collection and analysis efforts associated with the third five-year assessment.

Tentative Schedule

Summer 2020: Third Five-Year Assessment Stakeholder Meeting

Files

Data files that will support the Third Five Year Assessment due in 2023 are available for download below. 

This file contains the consolidated minimum flow implementation data from the USGS, City of Tampa, and the Southwest Florida Water Management District. The period of record for this data is 1/1/2018-7/31/2020. 

This file contains data from the Southwest Florida Water Management District for Structure S-162.  The period of record for this data is 10/01/2012–07/31/2020. It contains daily average flow for water that was diverted from the Tampa Bypass Canal Lower Pool to the Tampa Bypass Canal Middle Pool.

This file contains data from USGS Gage 02304500 Hillsborough River Near Tampa FL. The period of record for this data is 01/01/2018–07/31/2020. It contains the daily average flow over the Hillsborough River Dam and presents a summary of the days flow over the Hillsborough River Dam was less than 1 cubic foot second (cfs) by calendar year.  Some of this data is considered provisional and has not undergone quality assurance review.  Provisional data has been denoted within the file.

This file contains data collected by the Southwest Florida Water Management District at key locations within the Lower Hillsborough River. The period of record for this data is 01/01/2018–07/31/2020. It contains the vertical profile data for salinity and dissolved oxygen and summarizes the data in tables.

This file contains data collected by the Southwest Florida Water Management District at Site ID 19206. The period of record for this data is 04/15/2020–07/31/2020. It contains hourly and daily averages of dissolved oxygen, salinity, specific conductance, temperature, turbidity, pH, and depth. This data is considered provisional and has not undergone quality assurance review. 

This file contains water quality data collected by the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission. The period of record for this data is 01/1972–03/2020. It contains monthly and/or quarterly water quality samples for various parameters obtained along the Lower Hillsborough River.