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.
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 revised second five-year evaluation draft is now available and will be presented to the District's Governing Board in May 2020.
Staff is meeting with and soliciting feedback from various stakeholders to discuss the second five-year evaluation draft report for the Lower Hillsborough River.
October 2019 to February 2020 – Stakeholder outreach
May 2020 – District Governing Board meeting