SFWMD Extends Hydrologic Monitoring Agreements
The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board has renewed two long-standing cooperative agreements with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to continue hydrologic monitoring across the District’s 16-county region. Under the agreements, the USGS Integrated Science Centers in Fort Lauderdale and Orlando will collect and share data from more than 570 monitoring stations throughout the region over the next year.
“For more than a half century, the District and the USGS have worked together on hydrologic monitoring for the benefit of South Florida’s environment and communities,” said SFWMD Governing Board Chair Eric Buermann. “The data collected through this partnership are invaluable for making decisions that affect ecosystem restoration efforts, the flood protection system and the water supply of 7.5 million people.”
Subject to approval of the Fiscal Year 2010 budget, the District will invest about $2 million in the two agreements to supplement its own monitoring efforts. The agreements call for monthly and continuous data collection from 102 surface water, 466 groundwater and five evapotranspiration stations. The monitoring sites are located throughout the District’s 16 counties.
The District uses the USGS data in a variety of ways. During the 2008-2009 dry season, the information helped the agency target water restrictions at areas hardest hit by the record-breaking rainfall deficit. Other uses include:
- Supporting development of regional water supply plans
- Optimizing flood control during the wet season
- Developing models that identify targets for environmental restoration projects
The U.S. Geological Survey’s Orlando and Fort Lauderdale offices have provided the District with this monitoring support for 55 years.
The South Florida Water Management District has been gathering data about the region’s water and land resources for more than 40 years. The agency is involved in a broad range of research, monitoring and advanced modeling programs. As part of those efforts, the District laboratory analyzes approximately 170,000 environmental samples per year to meticulously document the condition of South Florida’s rivers, lakes and estuaries.
Real-time data, especially when combined with historic data, help the District make effective, informed water resource management decisions. Information about how well natural and man-made systems are working is essential to short- and long-term water resource management and restoration.
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