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Drought conditions developing in areas of North Florida after low rainfall in December


December rainfall was less than half the average for this time of year throughout the St. Johns River Water Management District’s 18-county region. As a result, moderate drought conditions are developing in Baker, Nassau, and the western half of Duval County, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

On Tuesday, a full report outlining December’s hydrologic conditions was presented at the District’s Governing Board meeting. Highlights include:


  • Districtwide, December rainfall averaged 1 inch, which is 1.54 inches below the average for the month.
  • Districtwide, the cumulative rainfall total for the past 12 months is 54.34 inches, which is 3.33 inches above the long-term average.
  • County-based rainfall totals ranged from a high of 1.75 inches in Brevard to 0.4 inches in Nassau County.


  • At the end of December, Upper Floridan aquifer conditions (groundwater levels) were in the high range in the southern half of the District and in Alachua, Putnam and Clay counties. The northern region of the District was within the normal range with the exception of a few wells in Volusia County that were in the very low range near the end of December as a result of pumping for freeze protection. Water levels in those wells have already recovered.
  • Groundwater levels expressed as a single districtwide index are at the 85th percentile districtwide. This means that since 1980, aquifer levels have been higher than they currently are about 15 percent of the time. 

Spring flows

  • The mean monthly flow at Silver Springs decreased to 649 cubic feet per second (cfs), or 419 million gallons per day (mgd), which is a13 cfs decrease from November’s mean and remains in the normal range for this time of year.
  • The mean monthly flow at the Blue Spring station in Volusia County was 190 cfs, or 122 mgd.
  • At Rock Springs, the monthly mean flow decreased 2 cfs to 62 cfs (40 mgd), which is in the high range for December.
  • The mean monthly flow at Wekiwa Springs increased to 75 cfs (49 mgd), which is in the high range for the time of year. 

To learn more about rainfall totals and other hydrologic data collected, visit www.sjrwmd.com.     

Visit WaterLessFlorida.com for tips to help landscapes thrive while saving water and money. 

About the St. Johns River Water Management District

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 Apopka, Jacksonville, and Palm Bay. 

For more information about the District, please visit www.sjrwmd.com.

SJRWMD, St. John's River Water Management District, Rainfall, Drought