The District is studying the Withlacoochee River (see map) and its surrounding watershed from the Green Swamp to the Gulf of Mexico. The Withlacoochee River watershed includes the area of land that water flows across as it moves to the Withlacoochee River. This watershed contains a variety of natural environments and man-made alterations which affect the behavior of the river. In addition, the river system has experienced extreme high and low conditions in recent decades due to fluctuations in rainfall.
As part of this initiative, staff have performed hydrology and hydraulics studies, field investigations and engineering analyses to evaluate how the river system functions. This includes the development of a comprehensive computer model of the entire Withlacoochee River, which has been calibrated using in-depth field surveys and published gauge data. The next step is to run different model scenarios and analyze how the scenarios will affect each other and the overall dynamics of the river and watershed. The model results will help staff evaluate alternatives to better manage the water resources. The system is interconnected, so making one change in an area will likely affect other areas of the watershed.
Staff have been meeting with elected officials, special interest groups and residents to communicate the project status and solicit feedback regarding model scenarios. District staff provided the model results for review and comment during the public workshops outlined below.
The public comment period closed on July 10, 2015.
For more information, contact Mark Fulkerson, Ph.D., P.E., senior professional engineer, at 1-800-423-1476 (FL only), ext. 4410.