St. Johns River Water Management District Adopts New Minimum Flows and Water Levels

Northeast Florida Policy Associate Chris Farrell explains how the new levels will impact Lake Brooklyn and Lake Geneva.

On May 11, the Governing Board of the St. Johns River Water Management District unanimously approved updated regulations to aid the recovery of water levels in Lakes Brooklyn and Geneva near Keystone Heights. The exposed lake-bottom and docks on dry land have long signaled our overuse of aquifers in the region. These lakes are located in an area of aquifer recharge and have paid an environmental price for decades of increasing water use in communities throughout Northeast Florida.

At the hearing, Audubon's Northeast Florida Policy Associate Chris Farrell testified to the validity of environmental metrics used by the district to evaluate lake health. These metrics are opposed by utilities in the region that would prefer lower water levels and less responsibility for recovery plans.

With the new "minimum flows and levels" for the lakes in place, the District, local governments, and utilities must now work on implementing water projects that will help recover these important ecological resources.

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