The Science Seminar Series: February 14, 2013
Regional Drawdown of the Floridan Aquifer: Effects on Spring Flows
Dr. Robert Knight, Director
Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute
Time: 4:00 -5:00pm
The Floridan Aquifer System (FAS) underlies about 100,000 square miles of Florida, southeast Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina. Estimated pre-development groundwater discharge from this massive water-bearing geological formation was about 13 billion gallons per day (BGD). Nearly 4 BGD is currently being extracted by wells from the FAS for human purposes. While this groundwater extraction is supporting extensive agricultural, industrial, and urban development in north Florida and south Georgia, it is resulting in unsustainable drawdowns of the surface of the FAS. The average FAS level has fallen by 60 to more than 90 feet near coastal pumping centers. These drawdowns are reversing groundwater flow directions and diminishing the size of groundwater basins feeding important springs and rivers, resulting in significant ecological changes. A regional approach to reduce the overall groundwater extraction from the FAS will be needed to restore adequate groundwater levels and to replenish in-stream flows in springs and rivers.