Southwest Florida Water Management District seeking public comments as it works to determine minimum flows and levels for water bodies

Virtual public meeting set for 5 p.m. Aug. 24

The Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) is seeking public comments to determine the priority for establishing minimum flows and levels (MFLs) for rivers, lakes, wetlands, streams and aquifers in the District, as well as the establishment of water reservations, the District has announced.

State legislation requires the district staff to review and, if necessary, revise the schedule each year, a news release explains.

SWFWMD will hold a virtual public meeting at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 24. Persons will be allowed to join the event via Microsoft Teams, the release points out. To do so, click here. “Use of the Chrome browser is recommended for best compatibility with Teams,” the release adds.

“To join the meeting by telephone only, dial 786-749-6127 and when prompted enter the conference ID: 875-792-902#,” the release notes.

“A minimum flow or level is the limit at which further water withdrawals will cause significant harm to the water resources or environment,” the release explains. “A water reservation defines a quantity of water set aside from the water use permitting process for the protection of fish and wildlife or public health and safety,” it adds. “The District’s Governing Board establishes MFLs and reservations as part of achieving the balance between meeting water needs and sustaining Florida’s natural systems.”

The adopted minimum flows and levels priority list and schedule for 2021 is available on the District’s website here. “The draft 2022 list will be published on the site following the Governing Board’s Aug. 23 meeting,” the release says. The revised schedule will be considered for approval at the board’s October meeting, the release adds.

Written comments on the draft priority list and schedule may be submitted to Doug Leeper, MFLs Program Lead, at or by mail to 2379 Broad Street, Brooksville, FL, 34604 no later than Sept. 7, the release points out.

For more information, contact Leeper at 352-269-5863.