Glossary of Terms

A - B | C - D | E - F | G - L | M - P | Q - T | W - Z

A - B

Acre-feet (ac-ft): The volume required to cover one acre to a depth of one foot, commonly used to express large volumes of water (1 acre-foot = 325,900 gallons).

Adaptive management: The application of scientific information and explicit feedback mechanisms to refine and improve future management decisions.

Ad valorem tax: A tax imposed on the value of real and personal property, as certified by the property appraiser in each county.

Alternative Water Supply (AWS): A supply of water that has been reclaimed after municipal, commercial, and/or agricultural uses; or a supply of stormwater, or brackish or salt water, that has been treated in accordance with applicable rules and standards sufficient to supply an intended use.

Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR): The injection of freshwater into a confined saline aquifer (underground, water-bearing layer) during times when excess water exists (wet season), and recovering it during times when there is a deficit of water (dry season).

Best Management Practices (BMPs): A practice or combination of practices based on research, field-testing, and expert review, to be the most effective and practicable, including economic and technological considerations, on-farm means of improving water quality in agricultural discharges to a level that balances water quality improvements and agricultural productivity.


C - D

Capital projects: Individual facilities and land acquisition projects by state and federal entities.

Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP): Plan that provides a framework and guide to restore, protect and preserve the water resources of central and southern Florida, including the Everglades. It covers 16 counties over an 18,000-square-mile area. The plan outlines projects and strategies needed to improve timing, distribution, quality and quantity of water to the Everglades and South Florida Ecosystem.

Compliance monitoring: In water quality permitting, compliance is associated with meeting permit conditions as well as ambient standards. Ongoing monitoring provides periodic water quality data, which are used to assess compliance.

Criterion: a standard of judgment or criticism; a rule or principle for evaluating or testing something. For the Everglades, the water quality criterion for phosphorus is 10 parts per billion (ppb).

Discharge (or flow): The rate of water movement past a reference point, measured as volume per unit time (usually expressed as cubic feet or cubic meters per second).

Drawdown: A lowering of the water level in a reservoir or other body of water.


E - F

Ecosystem: A complex set of relationships among living resources, habitats and residents of a region. The Everglades ecosystem includes people, wildlife, fish, birds, trees, plants, wetlands, water, and other living and non-living entities that are necessary for the ecosystem to function.

Estuary: An inlet or arm of the sea, especially the wide mouth of a river, where the tide meets the current.

Everglades: Once the Florida Everglades was a vibrant, free-flowing river of grass that provided clean water from Lake Okeechobee to Florida Bay. It was a vital haven for storks, alligators, panthers and other wildlife. Today this extraordinary ecosystem—unlike any other in the world—is in peril. Over the past 100 years, people in great numbers have encroached upon the ecosystem that once was the domain of panthers, alligators and flocks of birds so vast that they would darken the sky.

Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA): An area extending south from Lake Okeechobee to the northern levee of Water Conservation Area 3A, from its eastern boundary at the L-8 canal to the western boundary along the L-1, L-2, and L-3 levees. The EAA incorporates almost 3,000 square kilometers (1,158 square miles) of highly productive agricultural land.

Everglades Construction Project (ECP): The foundation of a large ecosystem restoration program composed of twelve interrelated construction projects between Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades, including about 32,000 acres of Stormwater Treatment Areas. It also contains four hydropattern restoration projects that will improve the volume, timing, and distribution of water entering the Everglades.

Everglades Forever Act (EFA): A 1994 Florida law (Section 373.4592, Florida Statutes), amended in 2003, to promote Everglades restoration and protection. This will be achieved through comprehensive and innovative solutions to issues of water quality, water quantity, hydroperiod, and invasion of exotic species to the Everglades ecosystem.

Everglades Protection Area (EPA): As defined in the Everglades Forever Act, the EPA is comprised of Water Conservation Areas 1 (Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge), 2A, 2B, 3A, and 3B; and Everglades National Park.

Expenditure: The disbursement of appropriated funds to purchase goods or services.

Fiscal Year (FY): The 12-month period for which the annual budget is developed and implemented. The fiscal year for DEP begins on July 1 and ends on June 30.

Florida Forever Act: A 1999 Florida law (Section 259.105, Florida Statutes) authorizing the issuance of up to $3 billion in bonds over a 10-year period. This funding is used for land acquisition, water resource development, stormwater management projects, water body restoration activities, recreational facilities, public access improvements, and invasive plant removal.

Florida Statutes (F.S.): A permanent collection of state laws organized by subject area into a code made up of titles, chapters, parts, and sections. The Florida Statutes are updated annually by laws that create, amend, or repeal statutory material.

Flow-weighted mean (FWM) concentration: The average concentration of a substance in water, corrected for the volume of water flow at the time of sampling. Samples taken when flow is high are given greater weight in the average.


G - L

Geometric mean: A statistical average of a set of transformed numbers often used to represent a central tendency in highly variable data, such as water quality. It is calculated from data transformed using powers or logarithms and then transformed back to original scale after averaging.

Lake Okeechobee Construction Project (LOCP): As required by the Lake Okeechobee Protection Act, a project designed to improve the hydrology and water quality of the lake and downstream receiving waters.

Lake Okeechobee and Estuary Recovery (LOER): An action plan developed to help restore the ecological health of Lake Okeechobee and the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Estuaries.

Lake Okeechobee Protection Act (LOPA): Lake Okeechobee Protection Act (LOPA) (Sec. 373.4595, F.S.) passed in 2000, required that by January 1, 2004, the South Florida Water Management District, in cooperation with Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, shall complete the Lake Okeechobee Protection Plan. This Plan contains an implementation schedule for subsequent phases of phosphorus load reduction consistent with the total maximum daily loads.

Lake Okeechobee Protection Plan (LOPP): Lake Okeechobee Protection Plan (LOPP) was developed by the cooperating state agencies to outline the strategies to reduce phosphorus loading to the lake and to meet the TMDL. The Act and the Plan identify the need to implement BMPs and construct large regional facilities to capture phosphorus.

Loading (or mass loading): The amount of material carried by water into a specified area, expressed as mass per unit of time. One example is phosphorus loading into Water Conservation Area 2A, measured in metric tons per year.

Long-term Plan (LTP): In addition to the EFA, more measures are necessary to ensure that all discharges to the EPA meet water quality standards and the goals established in the EFA, including compliance with the phosphorus criterion established in Rule 62-302.540, F.A.C. Plan was developed to achieve compliance with the phosphorus criterion as set by the EFA.


M - P

Mitigation: Acquisition, creation, restoration, or enhancement of wetlands to compensate for permitted wetland impacts.

Parts per billion (ppb): A unit of measure, equivalent to micrograms per liter (1 ppb = 1 μg/L).

Phosphorus: An element that is essential for life. In freshwater aquatic environments, Phosphorus is often in short supply; increased levels of this nutrient can promote the growth of algae and other plants.

Project Implementation Report (PIR): A decision document that will bridge the gap between the conceptual design contained in the Comprehensive Plan and the detailed design necessary to proceed to construction.


Q - T

Regulation Schedule: A regulation schedule is a tool used by water managers to manage the water levels in a lake or reservoir. Typically a regulation schedule has water level thresholds which vary with time of year and trigger discharges (a.k.a., regulatory releases).

Revenue: Monies received from all sources (with the exception of fund balances) that will be used to fund expenditures in a fiscal year.

Settlement Agreement: The 1992 court-ordered settlement agreement between state and federal parties that directs the clean up of federal waters within the Everglades, which include Everglades National Park and the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge.

Slough: A depression associated with swamps and marshlands containing areas of slightly deeper water and a slow current, such as the broad, shallow rivers of the Everglades.

Stage: The height of a water surface above an established reference point.

Stormwater Treatment Area (STA): A large, constructed wetland designed to remove pollutants, particularly nutrients, from stormwater runoff using natural processes.

Submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV): Wetland plants that exist completely below the water surface.

Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL): The maximum allowed level of pollutant loading to a water body, that protects its uses and maintaining compliance with water quality standards, as defined in the Clean Water Act.


W - Z

Water Conservation Areas (WCAs): Diked areas of the remnant Everglades that are hydrologically controlled for flood control and water supply purposes and fish and wildlife protection. They are primary targets of the Everglades restoration and are major components of the Everglades Protection Area.

Water Management Districts: There are five water management districts in Florida created in 1972 by the Florida Legislature that manage the quality and quantity of water. The districts are authorized to administer flood protection programs and to perform technical investigations into water resources. The districts are also authorized to develop water management plans for water shortages in times of drought and to acquire and manage lands for water management. Regulatory programs delegated to the districts include programs to manage the consumptive use of water, aquifer recharge, well construction and surface water management. As part of their surface water management programs, administer the stormwater management program.

Water quality (WQ) criteria: Constituent concentrations based on scientific data and judgments on the relationship between pollutant concentrations and environmental and human health effects.

Water quality standards (WQS): State-mandated water quality levels that are comprised of a beneficial use classification, water quality criteria applicable to that classification, Florida anti-degradation policy, and several provisions in other rules.

Watershed: A region draining into a river, river system, or other body of water.

Watershed Management Program: The Watershed Management Program is responsible for fostering better stewardship of Florida’s ground and surface water resources. Working with other state agencies, water management districts, local governments, citizens, and the private sector, the bureau coordinates the collection, data management, and interpretation of monitoring information to assess the health of our water resources; develops watershed-based aquatic resource goals and pollutant loading limits for individual water bodies; and develops and implements management action plans to preserve or restore water bodies.

Water Year (WY): The period from May 1 through April 30

Wetland: An area that is inundated or saturated by surface water or groundwater with vegetation adapted for life under those soil conditions (for example, lakes, swamps, marshes).


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Last updated: April 06, 2015