The Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) invites the public to a workshop on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 4:30 p.m. at Dunnellon City Hall, located at 20750 River Drive in Dunnellon. The purpose of the workshop is to allow for public comment on the proposed minimum flow for the Rainbow River System in Marion County.
The Florida Legislature requires the District to set minimum flows and levels (MFLs) for priority water bodies within the District. A minimum flow or level is the limit at which further water withdrawals will cause significant harm to the water resources and/or environment. Minimum flows are a protection measure established to protect streams and rivers from impacts associated with groundwater and surface water withdrawals. They serve as guidelines for the District’s permitting programs and for development of alternative water resource projects.
The District has been developing a minimum flow for the Rainbow River for many years. The District’s experienced scientists use numerous tools to collect, develop and analysis data before proposing a minimum flow. Their work is then evaluated by an independent peer review panel. During the workshop, District staff will review the technical basis for the proposed minimum flow for the Rainbow River.
The workshop will also provide an opportunity for local government, citizens, and others to comment on the proposed minimum flow for the system. Through this open and transparent process, information gathered at the workshop will be summarized and made available to the District’s Governing Board. District staff anticipates presenting the proposed minimum flow for the Rainbow River System at the March Governing Board meeting, where the Governing Board may choose to recommend adoption of the minimum flow into District rules. Governing Board meetings are open to the public, and brief oral comments are permitted on meeting agenda items.
Draft reports summarizing the proposed minimum flow are available for review and are posted on the District’s website at WaterMatters.org. For more information regarding the proposed minimum flow, please contact Kym Rouse Holzwart at 1-800-423-1476, ext. 4295.