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Management of Freshwater Resources in Florida: A History of Environmental Change and Economic Development.

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Presentation on theme: "Management of Freshwater Resources in Florida: A History of Environmental Change and Economic Development."— Presentation transcript:

1 Management of Freshwater Resources in Florida: A History of Environmental Change and Economic Development

2 History of Water Management in South Florida 1845: Florida officially becomes the 27 th state 1845: Florida officially becomes the 27 th state 1850: U.S. Congress passes the “Swamp and Overflowed Lands Act” with state ownership of these areas implemented with intentions of reclaiming the land with support from sale to private interests 1850: U.S. Congress passes the “Swamp and Overflowed Lands Act” with state ownership of these areas implemented with intentions of reclaiming the land with support from sale to private interests 1862: President Lincoln creates the Natural Resources Conservation Service located within the U.S. Department of Agriculture 1862: President Lincoln creates the Natural Resources Conservation Service located within the U.S. Department of Agriculture 1879: United States Geological Survey created by Congress. Studies nation’s groundwater resources and is involved in research and monitoring associated with water quality in aquatic ecosystems 1879: United States Geological Survey created by Congress. Studies nation’s groundwater resources and is involved in research and monitoring associated with water quality in aquatic ecosystems

3 History 1905: The State Legislature turns over previously acquired lands to the newly formed board of Drainage Commissioners. Authority, “to establish drainage districts and to fix the boundaries thereof in the State of Florida". They were... "to establish a system of canals, levees, drains, dikes, and reservoirs...to drain and reclaim the swamp and overflowed lands within the State of Florida” 1905: The State Legislature turns over previously acquired lands to the newly formed board of Drainage Commissioners. Authority, “to establish drainage districts and to fix the boundaries thereof in the State of Florida". They were... "to establish a system of canals, levees, drains, dikes, and reservoirs...to drain and reclaim the swamp and overflowed lands within the State of Florida” 1930’s: Atlantic Inter- coastal waterway constructed 1930’s: Atlantic Inter- coastal waterway constructed 1937: The Okeechobee Waterway completed providing a connection to the Gulf Coast Inter- coastal Waterway 1937: The Okeechobee Waterway completed providing a connection to the Gulf Coast Inter- coastal Waterway 1948: The Central and Southern Florida Flood Control Project authorized by Congress. A multi- purpose project aimed at providing flood control, municipal, agricultural, and industrial water supply, and protection of wildlife resources. 1948: The Central and Southern Florida Flood Control Project authorized by Congress. A multi- purpose project aimed at providing flood control, municipal, agricultural, and industrial water supply, and protection of wildlife resources.

4 1961: Southwest Florida Water Management District created in in association with the “Four River Basins, Flood Project” following impacts of Hurricane Donna. Major flood control program involving the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who constructed flood control structures and water detention areas. 1961: Southwest Florida Water Management District created in in association with the “Four River Basins, Flood Project” following impacts of Hurricane Donna. Major flood control program involving the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who constructed flood control structures and water detention areas. 1969: NEPA, National Environmental Policy Act established the broad national framework for environmental protection 1969: NEPA, National Environmental Policy Act established the broad national framework for environmental protection 1972: Clean Water Act, establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into waters of the U.S. and regulating quality standards for surface waters 1972: Clean Water Act, establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into waters of the U.S. and regulating quality standards for surface waters 1972: Water Resource Act established to manage and protect water and related natural resources. Also broadened priorities of the district from strictly flood control to include resource management and public service sectors. 1972: Water Resource Act established to manage and protect water and related natural resources. Also broadened priorities of the district from strictly flood control to include resource management and public service sectors. 1972: The Florida Environmental Land and Water Management Act established Areas of Critical State Concern in order to protect highly sensitive geographic areas 1972: The Florida Environmental Land and Water Management Act established Areas of Critical State Concern in order to protect highly sensitive geographic areas 1974: Safe Drinking Water Act established to protect the quality of waters actually or potentially designated for drinking use in the U.S., authorizes the EPA to establish minimum standards 1974: Safe Drinking Water Act established to protect the quality of waters actually or potentially designated for drinking use in the U.S., authorizes the EPA to establish minimum standards 1994: SWFWMD Comprehensive Watershed Initiative Program established to employ a watershed based approach to water and related natural resource management 1994: SWFWMD Comprehensive Watershed Initiative Program established to employ a watershed based approach to water and related natural resource management History & Environmental law

5 History: Important federal agencies which implement resource management and environmental protection efforts Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Protection Agency National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (D.O.C.) National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (D.O.C.) U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (D.O.D.) U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (D.O.D.) Federal Emergency Management Agency: Implements National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and provides disaster relief assistance to coastal states and local governments (Homeland Security) Federal Emergency Management Agency: Implements National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and provides disaster relief assistance to coastal states and local governments (Homeland Security) U.S. Fish and Wildlife (D.O.I.) U.S. Fish and Wildlife (D.O.I.) U.S. Geological Survey (D.O.I.) U.S. Geological Survey (D.O.I.) National Weather Service National Weather Service

6 State and regional agencies responsible for water management in Southwest Florida Department of Environmental Protection Department of Environmental Protection Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Public Service Commission Public Service Commission Department of Health Department of Health Department of Community Affairs Department of Community Affairs Water Management Districts Water Management Districts Regional Planning Councils Regional Planning Councils Water Supply Authorities Water Supply Authorities Special Districts Special Districts

7 Five Water Management Districts in Florida

8 Florida Statutes require each district to prepare and update a District Water Management Plan every five years Florida Statutes require each district to prepare and update a District Water Management Plan every five years Consistency maintained among the Consistency maintained among the separate districts by focusing separate districts by focusing planning on four resource- based planning on four resource- based areas of responsibility: areas of responsibility: water supply, water quality water supply, water quality management, natural systems, management, natural systems, and flood protection and flood protection SWFWMD is divided into nine SWFWMD is divided into nine basins and is the only district which basins and is the only district which implements the Basin Boards governing implements the Basin Boards governing system which addresses water- related system which addresses water- related issues through approved state programs issues through approved state programs

9 Environment & Climate of the Southwest Florida Water Management District Floridan Aquifer System & Karst topograpgy: 11 Watersheds and 13 major rivers identified in the district Surface water & groundwater features Terrestrial & Aquatic/ freshwater ecosystems Humid sub- tropical climate with average rainfall of ~ 53inches for the district

10 Science & Technology Ecological and biological professionals are involved in the process of freshwater resource management and associated environmental/ social concerns. Ecological and biological professionals are involved in the process of freshwater resource management and associated environmental/ social concerns. Hydrology and climatology are important aspects of science applicable to freshwater water resources. (Flow and discharge rates, flooding, drought, etc.) Hydrology and climatology are important aspects of science applicable to freshwater water resources. (Flow and discharge rates, flooding, drought, etc.) Ecosystem studies and research focusing on effects of human modification of freshwater systems and mitigation efforts. Limnology & wetland ecology. Ecosystem studies and research focusing on effects of human modification of freshwater systems and mitigation efforts. Limnology & wetland ecology. Natural, undisturbed ecosystems structure and function versus those altered by human activities. Natural, undisturbed ecosystems structure and function versus those altered by human activities.

11 Essential Scientific Concepts Aquatic ecosystems : Rivers, lakes, swamps, wet prairies, sloughs, estuaries. Aquatic ecosystems : Rivers, lakes, swamps, wet prairies, sloughs, estuaries. Landscape ecology & heterogeneity Landscape ecology & heterogeneity Biological communities Biological communities Ecological Connectivity Ecological Connectivity Hydrologic cycle & Watershed Management Approach Hydrologic cycle & Watershed Management Approach

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13 Regional Management & the Watershed Approach “Regions are geographic areas that share common issues of public policy, administration, resource management, pollution control, economic development, or other social, political, or environmental concerns for which no govermental body exists” (CZM, 2002). (Lack of centralized regulatory planning/ management agency) A watershed approach to management incorporates important relationships between interconnected terrestrial uplands and lowland aquatic ecosystems and complex ecological and hydrological Systems Employed by the E.P.A. to help in the management of environmental resources through application of ecological risk assessment principles

14 Argument The management of freshwater resources in Southwest Florida should not degrade the structure and function of native ecosystems and the species which occupy them. The management of freshwater resources in Southwest Florida should not degrade the structure and function of native ecosystems and the species which occupy them.

15 Technology & water resources Four main drivers of human alterations or change that affect ecological systems. Human demography Social organization Technological development Resource uses

16 Disturbances in natural ecosystems resulting from human activities Patterns of land use change/ alteration Use of land in the district is a strong indicator of water needs Urbanization/ construction development Industrial, agricultural, commercial, and residential Agricultural land use accounts for the greatest percentage, ~ 31%. Urban/ build up ~ 20%

17 Technology & Population The human population in South Florida has increased progressively as a result of various technological developments utilized by humans. The human population in South Florida has increased progressively as a result of various technological developments utilized by humans. As a result of improved transportation (roads & bridges) and construction methods, urbanization has impacted native ecosystems, especially those characterized by the presence of freshwater. As a result of improved transportation (roads & bridges) and construction methods, urbanization has impacted native ecosystems, especially those characterized by the presence of freshwater. Control of water resources is made more effective through the implementation of specific technologies Control of water resources is made more effective through the implementation of specific technologies  Anthropogenic disturbance: a human- mediated event or activity that is virtually unknown in natural systems in terms of type, frequency, intensity, duration, spatial extent, or predictability over the last century.

18 Technologies: Historical Trends in Water Use  Three categories of human activities present the greatest threat to aquatic ecosystems and others  Flow control measures: Canals, dams, levees.  Land- cover changes  Water withdrawals: Pumping stations, transport

19 Water use permits -Water use is divided into five use types Public supply Public supply Agriculture Agriculture Recreation or aesthetic Recreation or aesthetic Industrial or commercial Industrial or commercial Mining Mining An environmental resource permit (ERP) is required before beginning any construction activity that would affect wetlands, alter surface water flows, or contribute to water pollution. An environmental resource permit (ERP) is required before beginning any construction activity that would affect wetlands, alter surface water flows, or contribute to water pollution. A Well Construction Permit is required prior to installation of a water well within the District. The permits ensure that wells are constructed by qualified contractors and meet specific safety and durability standards. A Well Construction Permit is required prior to installation of a water well within the District. The permits ensure that wells are constructed by qualified contractors and meet specific safety and durability standards. A water use permit is a state license to use ground or surface water resources

20 Society & Culture: Environmental relations Cultural ecology is concerned with human socio- cultural features and the use of technologies in relation to the environment Cultural ecology is concerned with human socio- cultural features and the use of technologies in relation to the environment Conflicting interests associated with water resources management are heavily influenced by the application of science and technology through different cultural, social, political and historical perspectives Conflicting interests associated with water resources management are heavily influenced by the application of science and technology through different cultural, social, political and historical perspectives

21 Future Implications Sustainable water resource systems are those designed and managed to fully contribute to the objectives of society, now and in the future, while maintaining their ecological, environmental, and hydrological integrity" (ASCE, 1998). Conflicting and competing interests of development & conservation Need to integrate science with society to solve environmental problems Ecosystem Management : Complexity of ecological processes Change in the environment Scale of different ecosystems Uncertainty in nature Humans as part of the ecosystem

22 Eco- hydrological concept Alternative approach to the management of freshwater resources for human usage. Alternative approach to the management of freshwater resources for human usage. Eco- hydrology: Eco- hydrology: Integration and quantification of biological and hydrological processes at the basin scale The enhancement of basin ecosystem absorbing capacity against human impact Use of ecosystems & properties as a management tool.

23 Adaptive Management A resource management approach that focuses on “learning by doing” through the use of the most efficient procedures from a political, social, and scientific point of view. A resource management approach that focuses on “learning by doing” through the use of the most efficient procedures from a political, social, and scientific point of view. Living resources are to be protected and restored Living resources are to be protected and restored Projects are to be viewed as experiments Projects are to be viewed as experiments Management action is overdue and can not wait until scientific information becomes available Management action is overdue and can not wait until scientific information becomes available Information has value as the product of an action Information has value as the product of an action Even though protection measures may be limited, management is forever Even though protection measures may be limited, management is forever

24 References American Society of Civil Engineers (1998). Sustainability Criteria for Water Resource Systems. Reston, VA: Library of Congress The Florida Council of 100. (2003). Improving Florida's Water Supply Management Structure: Ensuring and Sustaining Environmentally Sound Water Supplies and Resources to Meet Current and Future Needs. Russ Kramer Creative, Inc. Rinaldi Printing. Tampa, FL Naiman, R.J., Decamps, H., McClain, M.E. (2005) Riparia: Ecology, Conservation, and Management of Streamside Communities. Burlington, MA: Elsevier Academic Press Zalewski, M. (2002). Ecohydrology- the use of ecological and hydrological processes for sustainable management of water resources. Hydrological Sciences, 47 (5), Alden, P., & Cech, R., & Nelson, G. (1998). National Audubon Society Field Guide to Florida. New York: Chanticleer Press, Inc. Falkenmark, M., & Rockstrom, J. (2004). Balancing Water for Humans and Nature: The New Approach in Ecohydrology. Trowbridge, Wiltshire: Cromwell Press Lindenmayer, D.B., & Fischer, J. (2006). Habitat Fragmentation and Landscape Change: An Ecological and Conservation Synthesis. Washinton, D.C. : Island Press Zalewski, M. (2002). Ecohydrology- the use of ecological and hydrological processes for sustainable management of water resources. Hydrological Sciences, 47 (5),


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