Two consecutive months of above-average rainfall in northeast Florida still leave parts of the St. Johns River Water Management District’s southern region (Brevard, Indian River, Osceola, and Okeechobee) abnormally dry, as reported in the U.S. Drought Monitor.
A full report outlining April’s hydrologic conditions was presented at the District’s Governing Board meeting Tuesday. Highlights include:
- Districtwide, April rainfall averaged 3.40 inches, which is 0.80 inches above the average for the month.
- Seminole County had the most rainfall, with a countywide average of 5.5 inches.
- Orange County averaged 4.9 inches.
- Indian River County, which is still abnormally dry, received only 2.1 inches.
- Districtwide, the cumulative rainfall total for the past 12 months is 52.54 inches, which is 1.53 inches above the long-term average.
- Upper Floridan aquifer conditions (groundwater levels) at the end of April were a mix of high and normal conditions across the District. Water levels in many of the wells used for this report remained consistent with March’s levels.
- Groundwater levels are at the 72nd percentile Districtwide. This means that since 1980, aquifer levels have been higher than they currently are about 28 percent of the time.
Surface water flows
- On May 1, flow in all stations across the District was in the average or high range, with the exception of St. Johns River near the Satsuma station, which was in the very high range at 3,919 million gallons per day (mgd) (91st percentile).
- On May 1, flow in the St. Johns River’s headwaters at the Melbourne station was 97 mgd (63rd percentile).
- Flow in the Econlockhatchee River near Chuluota was in the high range at 68 mgd (78th percentile).
- Flow in the Wekiva River near Sanford was in the average range of 144 mgd (62nd percentile).
- Flow at the St. Johns River DeLand station was also in the high range at 2,105 mgd (85th percentile).
- Flow in the Ocklawaha River, the largest tributary to the St. Johns River, was in the average range of 497 mgd (44th percentile).
- Flow in the St. Marys River near Macclenny was in the average range of 190 mgd (71st percentile).
- Lake Brooklyn water levels increased 0.8 foot to 102.1 feet in April and remains below average.
- Lake Weir water levels had a slight decrease from last month of 0.1 foot to 53.7 feet.
- Lake Winnemissett water level increased 0.1 feet from last month to 56.7 feet.
- The water level in Lake Apopka was the same at the beginning and end of April at 65.9 feet. However, in response to heavy rainfall the lake level rose shortly after April 1, and in response, the District operated discharge structures to release water downstream, lowering the lake to its regulation schedule level.
- The water level in Lake Apopka was the same at the beginning and end of April. However, in response to heavy rainfall, the lake level rose shortly after April 1, and in response, the District operated discharge structures to release water downstream, lowering the lake to its regulation schedule level.
- Blue Cypress Lake levels decreased to 21.2 feet. Blue Cypress is also part of a system with water control structures that are operated by the District. During April and May, the regulation schedule levels drop in preparation for the summer wet season.
- The mean monthly flow at Silver Springs increased to 685 cubic feet per second (cfs), or 443 mgd, which is a 4 cfs increase from March’s mean.
- At the Blue Spring station in Volusia County, the mean monthly flow was 162 cfs, or 104 mgd.
- At Rock Springs, the monthly mean flow increased 1 cfs to 60 cfs (39 mgd), which is in the normal range for April.
- Mean monthly flow at Wekiwa Springs increased to 66 cfs (43 mgd), which is in the normal range for the time of year.
To learn more about rainfall totals and other hydrologic data collected, visit sjrwmd.com.
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St. Johns River Water Management District staff are committed to ensuring the sustainable use and protection of water resources for the benefit of the people of the District and the State of Florida. The St. Johns River Water Management District is one of five districts in Florida managing groundwater and surface water supplies in the state. The District encompasses all or part of 18 northeast and east-central Florida counties. District headquarters are in Palatka, and staff also are available to serve the public at service centers in Jacksonville and Palm Bay. For more information about the District, please visit www.sjrwmd.com.