Drawdowns in aquifer levels in the Southern Water Use Caution Area (SWUCA), due primarily to groundwater withdrawals, have contributed to lowered lake levels in the Ridge Lakes area which extends roughly 90 miles along the center of the state in Polk and Highlands counties.
Minimum levels have been established on 27 Ridge Lakes. Of these, 11 are being met and 16 are not being met. The District will review currently established minimum lake levels to make sure they are consistent with improvements made to the minimum lake level methodologies since the development of the original method in 1999. Lakes identified as not meeting adopted levels will be candidates for projects to achieve adopted levels.
The District has formed a stakeholder workgroup to evaluate and recommend adjustments to the strategies in the SWUCA Recovery Strategy intended to meet the minimum lake levels along the Lake Wales Ridge. Information from the stakeholder workgroup will be used to craft proposals for the District Governing Board to consider.
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For more information or to submit comments, email SWUCA.Recovery@WaterMatters.org.