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SWFWMD invites public input on water resource priority list

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The Southwest Florida Water Management District is seeking public input about the order in which minimum flows and levels for lakes, rivers, streams and aquifers in the District will be determined.

A minimum flow or level is the limit at which further water withdrawals will cause significant harm to the water resources or environment. The District Governing Board sets these limits as part of achieving the delicate balance between meeting human water needs and those of Florida’s natural systems.

A public meeting will be held 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 1 at the District’s Tampa Service Office, 7601 U.S. Highway 301, Tampa.

The purpose of the meeting is to receive public input on a draft revised priority schedule for establishing minimum flows and levels. Legislation requires the District to review and, if necessary, revise the schedule each year.

The meeting will provide an important opportunity for local governments, residents and others to be part of the scheduling of minimum flows and levels for rivers, streams and other flowing waters, lakes and aquifers. The revised schedule will be considered for adoption at the Governing Board’s regularly scheduled meeting in October.

The adopted Minimum Flows and Levels Priority List and Schedule for 2012 is available on the District’s website at The draft 2013 list will be made available on the site as soon as possible following the Governing Board’s Sept. 25 meeting.

Written comments on the draft Priority List and Schedule may be submitted to Doug Leeper, chief environmental scientist, no later than October 17, 2012.