Integrating ground water into FDEP’s watershed management approach has required an expansion in the approaches for both monitoring design and data analysis to include ground water–surface water issues. Historically, the majority of ground water protection efforts emphasized land use and aquifer vulnerability, as well as investigating and remediating local point sources of contamination to protect potable water supplies. Integrating ground water into watershed protection, however, has required the additional consideration of ground water contributions to surface waterbodies (i.e., base flow). The water quality of base flow is now also considered an equally important ground water use to ensure the support of aquatic life in surface waterbodies. Identifying and quantifying ground water contributions where substances with extensive natural or anthropogenic abundances in geological deposits coexist with high percentages of base flow are also important in evaluating impaired surface waters.
FDEP has developed a methodology and screening tools to evaluate and identify ground water resource issues and potential influences of ground water on surface water quality within Florida’s watershed management cycle. The findings of these evaluations are used in guiding future monitoring and assessment efforts, identifying potential private well sampling needs, and identifying more detailed evaluations to determine ground water’s influence on impaired or potentially impaired surface waters.
The Ground Water Protection Program conducts activities that assess and protect the state’s ground water resources, integrating ground water protection activities into Florida’s watershed program. Activities include conducting basin-scale and detailed ground water evaluations and assessments, development of ground water-surface water interaction assessment tools, management of the USEPA Section 106 ground water grant, management of research and monitoring projects under Florida’s Springs Initiative, oversight of agricultural best management practice ground water monitoring studies, and participation in evaluations of new pesticides that have potential ground water impacts.
Programs Administered Under Ground Water Protection:
Last updated: January 30, 2013
2600 Blair Stone Road M.S. 3500
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
850-245-8336 (phone) / 850-245-8356 (fax)