Minimum Flows & Levels

Minimum Flows & Levels 02 Minimum Flows & Levels 01

Water & Air, as a sub consultant to Applied Technology & Management (ATM), is providing ongoing technical support to the St. Johns River Water Management District‘s (SJRWMD) Minimum Flows and Levels (MFLs) Program. MFLs define the minimum frequencies of high, average, and low water events (defined by magnitude and duration hydrologic components) necessary to prevent significant ecological harm to aquatic and wetland habitats from permitted water withdrawals. As it applies to wetland and aquatic communities, significant harm is a function of changes in the frequencies of water level and/or flow events of a defined duration causing unacceptable changes to ecological structures and/or functions.

Additionally, Section 62-40.473, F.A.C., requires water management districts, in establishing MFLs pursuant to Sections 373.042 and 373.0421, F.S., to consider the natural seasonal fluctuations in water flows or levels, nonconsumptive uses, and environmental values associated with coastal, estuarine, riverine, spring, aquatic, and wetlands ecology. These considerations include the following 10 water resources values (WRVs): recreation in and on the water; fish and wildlife habitats and the passage of fish; estuarine resources; transfer of detrital material; maintenance of freshwater storage and supply; aesthetic and scenic attributes; filtration and absorption of nutrients and other pollutants; sediment loads; water quality; and navigation.

Task Summary

  • Performed data analyses and evaluate whether a change in hydrology (i.e., from existing hydrologic regime to that defined under the MFLs regime) continues the protection of the ten (10) WRVs listed above
  • Served as expert witness regarding WRV assessment findings
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