Thursday, December 24, 2009

Water Cycle Poster

Water Cycle Poster

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Water Manager's Glossary

Water Manager's Glossary

South Florida Water Management District


1-in-10 Year Drought: A drought of such intensity that it is expected to have a return frequency of once in every 10 years. In other words, there is only a 10 percent chance (1 in 10) that less than this amount of rain will fall in any given year.

Acre-foot: The volume of water that covers one acre to a depth of one foot; 43,560 cubic feet; 1,233.5 cubic meters; 325,872 gallons. One foot of water on Lake Okeechobee is equivalent to about 450,000 acre-feet when the lake's water level is 15 feet NGVD.

Adaptive Management: The application of scientific information and explicit feedback mechanisms to refine and improve future management decisions.

Advanced Treatment Technologies: Biological and chemical treatment technologies to remove phosphorus from stormwater to achieve low concentrations once treatment is complete.

Alternative Water Supply: A supply of water that has been reclaimed after one or more uses, such as public supply, municipal, industrial, commercial or agricultural uses. The term can also apply to storm water, brackish water or salt water that has been treated in accordance with applicable rules and standards to serve the intended use.

Anoxic: The absence of oxygen.

Aquifer: An underground bed or layer of earth, gravel or porous stone that holds water.

Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO): A cyclic variation in the large-scale atmospheric flow and ocean currents in the North Atlantic Ocean. They combine to alternately increase and decrease Atlantic sea surface temperatures (SSTs). Cool and warm phases that may last for 20-40 years at a time have a difference of about 1°F between extremes. These changes have been occurring for at least the last 1,000 years.


Basin (Groundwater): A hydrologic unit containing one large aquifer or several connecting and interconnecting aquifers.

Basin (Surface Water): A tract of land drained by a surface water body or its tributaries.

Best Management Practices (BMPs): Agricultural or other management activities designed to achieve an important goal, such as reducing nutrients or pollutants in runoff or optimizing water use.

Biscayne Aquifer: A portion of the Surficial Aquifer System that provides most of the fresh water for public water supply and agriculture within Miami-Dade, Broward and southeastern Palm Beach counties. It is highly susceptible to contamination due to its high permeability and proximity to land surface in many locations.

Bog: See Marsh

Boulder Zone: A highly transmissive, cavernous zone of limestone within the lower Floridan Aquifer.

Brackish: Water with a chloride (salt) level greater than 250 milligrams per liter (mg/L) and less than 19,000 mg/L.


Capacity: Capacity represents the ability to treat, move or reuse water. Typically capacity is expressed in million gallons per day (MGD).

Central and Southern Florida (C&SF) Project: The system of canals, storage areas and water control structures spanning the area from Lake Okeechobee to both the east and west coasts and from Orlando south through the Everglades to Florida Bay. It was designed and constructed during the 1950s and 1960s by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to provide flood control and improve navigation and recreation.

Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP): The 30-year, multi billion dollar, state federal partnership encompassing 68 project components to restore the South Florida ecosystem by improving the quantity, quality timing and distribution of water flows within the system.

Consumptive Use Permit (CUP): A permit issued by the SFWMD under authority of Chapter 40E-2, F.A.C., allowing withdrawal of surface or ground water from the regional system for consumptive use.

Control Structure: A structure designed to regulate the level/flow of water in a canal or water body. Gates, spillways, weirs and dams are water control structures.

Cubic Feet Per Second (CFS): The rate of discharge representing a volume of 1 cubic foot passing a given point during 1 second and equivalent to 7.48 gallons per second or 448.8 gallons per minute.

Cynobacteria: Blue-green algae.


Demand: The quantity of water needed to be withdrawn to fulfill a requirement.

Desalination: A process that treats saline water to remove chlorides and dissolved solids, resulting in the production of fresh water.

Discharge (or Flow): The rate of water movement past a reference point, measured as volume per unit time (usually expressed as cubic feet or cubic meters per second).

Dissolved Oxygen: The concentration of oxygen dissolved in water, sometimes expressed as percent saturation, where saturation is the maximum amount of oxygen that theoretically can be dissolved in water at a given altitude and temperature.

Drainage District: A local drainage, water management or water control district that is created by special act of the legislature and authorized under Ch. 298 F.S., to construct, complete, operate, maintain, repair and replace any and all works necessary to implement an adopted water control plan.

Drawdown: The vertical distance a water level is lowered resulting from a withdrawal at a given point.


El Niño: A phase of the ocean-atmosphere oscillation in the Pacific Ocean characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific and resulting in important consequences for weather around the globe; this condition typically brings rain and flooding to the U.S. Gulf states.

El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO): An oscillation of the tropical atmosphere and ocean system that occurs somewhat regularly, generally every 3-7 years. The ENSO cycle includes three phases: the La Niña, the neutral and El Niño phase. The ENSO oscillation affects the global climate in various ways.

El Niño: This cycle is characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. In Florida, El Niño increases the chances of above normal rainfall in the dry season.

La Niña: This cycle brings unusually cool ocean temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. In Florida, La Niña increases the chances of below normal rainfall in the dry season.

Environmental Resource Permit (ERP): A permit issued by the SFWMD under authority of Chapter 40E-4 F.A.C. to ensure that land development projects do not cause adverse environmental, water quality or water quantity impacts.

Estuary: The part of the wide, lower course of a river where its current is met by ocean tides or an arm of the sea; a water passage at the lower mouth of a river where fresh and salt water meet.

Eutrophication: The gradual increase in nutrients in a body of water. Natural eutrophication is a gradual process, but human activities may greatly accelerate the process.

Evapotranspiration (ET): Water losses from the surface of water and soils (evaporation) and plants (transpiration).

Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA): The area south of Lake Okeechobee used for agricultural production; specifically, the area extending south from Lake Okeechobee to the northern levee of Water Conservation Area 3A and from its eastern boundary at the L-8 canal to the western boundary along the L-1, L-2 and L-3 levees. The EAA comprises almost 3,000 square kilometers (1,158 square miles) of highly productive agricultural land.

Everglades Forever Act (EFA): A 1994 Florida law (Section 373.4592, F. S.), amended in 2003, to promote Everglades restoration and protection. This will be achieved through comprehensive solutions to issues of water quality, water quantity, hydroperiod and invasion of exotic species to the Everglades ecosystem.

Everglades Protection Area (EPA): As defined in the Everglades Forever Act, the EPA is comprised of Water Conservation Areas 1, 2A, 2B, 3A and ;, the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge; and Everglades National Park.

Exotic Plant Species: A nonnative species that tends to outcompete native species and become quickly established, especially in areas of disturbance or where the normal hydroperiod has been altered.


Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.): The Florida Administrative Code is the official compilation of the administrative rules and regulations of state agencies.

Florida Department of Agricultural and Consumer Services (FDACS): FDACS communicates the needs of the agricultural industry to the Florida Legislature, the FDEP, and the water management districts and ensures participation of agriculture in the development and implementation of water policy decisions. FDACS also oversees Florida's soil and water conservation districts, which coordinate closely with the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP): The SFWMD operates under the general supervisory authority of the FDEP, which includes budgetary oversight.

Florida Statutes (F.S.): The Florida Statutes are a permanent collection of state laws organized by subject area into a code made up of titles, chapters, parts and sections. The Florida Statutes are updated annually by laws that create, amend or repeal statutory material.

Floridan Aquifer System (FAS): A highly used aquifer system composed of the Upper Floridan and Lower Floridan Aquifers. It is the principal source of water supply north of Lake Okeechobee. The upper Floridan Aquifer is used for drinking water supply in parts of Martin and St. Lucie counties.

Flow: The actual amount of water flowing by a particular point during a specified period of time. In the context of water supply, flow represents the amount of water being treated, moved or reused. Flow is frequently expressed in millions of gallons per day (MGD).

Food Web: The totality of interacting food chains in an ecological community.


Geographic Information Systems (GIS): The abstract representation of natural or cultural features of a landscape into a digital database, presented in a geographic form.

Governing Board: Governing Board of the South Florida Water Management District.

GPD: Gallons per day.

GPM: Gallons per minute.

Groundwater: Water stored beneath the soil surface.

Groundwater Heads: Elevation of water table.


Hydropattern: The pattern of inundation or saturation of an ecosystem.

Hydroperiod: The frequency and duration of inundation or saturation of an ecosystem. In the context of characterizing wetlands, the term hydroperiod describes that length of time during the year that the substrate is either saturated or covered with water.


Indian River Lagoon: Extending for 156 miles from north of Cape Canaveral to Stuart along the east coast of Florida, this lagoon is America's most diverse estuary, home to more than 4,000 plant and animal species.

Infiltration: The movement of water through the soil surface.

Irrigation: The application of water to crops and other plants by artificial means.


La Niña: This cycle brings unusually cool ocean temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. In Florida, La Niña increases the chances of below normal rainfall in the dry season.

El Niño: This cycle is characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. In Florida, El Niño increases the chances of above normal rainfall in the dry season.

Lagoon: A body of water separated from the ocean by barrier islands, with limited water exchange with the ocean through inlets.

Lake Okeechobee: Measuring 730 square miles, the second largest freshwater lake located wholly within the United States.

Levee: An embankment to prevent flooding or a continuous dike or ridge for confining the irrigation areas of land to be flooded.

Littoral: Of, relating to, situated or growing on or near a shore.


Marsh: A frequently or continually inundated non-forested wetland characterized by vegetation adapted to saturated soil conditions.

Metric Ton (mt): A volumetric unit of measurement equivalent to 1,000 kilograms or 2,205 pounds.

MGD: Millons of gallons per day.

Mg/L: Milligrams per liter.

MGY: Millions of gallons per year.

Minimum Flow and Level (MFL): The point at which further withdrawals would cause significant harm to the water resources/ecology of an area.


National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD): A nationally established reference for elevation data; usually measured in feet, the elevation above or depth below mean sea level.

Nonpoint Source: Pollution source originating over broad areas, such as areas of fertilizer and pesticide application or leaking sewer systems, rather than from discrete points.


Pelagic Zone: Open water zone, as in the ocean.

Performance Measure: Performance measures quantify how well or how poorly an action meets a specific objective. Good performance measures are quantifiable, have a specific target, indicate when a target has been reached and measure the degree to which the goal has been met. These measures have been used to evaluate complex restoration project goals as well as land acquisition plans.

Phosphorus (P): A chemical element that is essential for life. In freshwater environments, phosphorus levels are often naturally low; increased levels of this nutrient can promote the growth of algae and non-native or invasive plants.

Phytoplankton: The floating, usually tiny, plant life living in a body of water.

Point Source: Any discernible, confined and discrete single source from which pollutants are discharged. Point sources include any pipe, ditch, channel, well, discrete fissure, container, rolling stock, concentrated animal feeding operation; or boats or other floating water craft. This term does not include agricultural stormwater discharges and return flows from irrigated agriculture.

Potable Water: Water that is safe for drinking.

Public Water Supply (PWS): Utilities that provide potable (drinking) water for public use.


Reclaimed Water: Water that has received at least secondary treatment and basic disinfection and is reused after flowing out of a domestic wastewater treatment facility.

Regional Water Supply Plan: Detailed water supply plan developed by the District under Section 373.0361, F.S., providing an evaluation of available water supply and projected demands at the regional scale. The planning process anticipates and identifies future demand for 20 years and develops strategies to meet identified needs.

Regulation Schedule: A federally authorized set of operating criteria used by water managers to manage the water levels in a lake or reservoir.

Reservoir: A constructed or natural water body used for water storage.

Retrofitting: The replacement of existing water fixtures, appliances and devices with more efficient fixtures, appliances and devices for the purpose of conservation.

Reuse: The deliberate application of reclaimed water for a beneficial purpose. Criteria used to classify reuse projects are contained in Rule 62-610.810, F.A.C.

Reverse Osmosis (RO): A membrane process for desalting water using applied pressure to drive the feedwater (source water) through a semipermeable membrane.


Saline Water or Saltwater Intrusion: This occurs when more dense saline water moves laterally inland from the seacoast, or moves vertically upward, to replace fresher water in an aquifer.

Seawater: Water which has a sodium chloride (salt) concentration equal to or greater than 19,000 milligrams per liter.

Stage: Water level, measured as the height of a water surface above an established reference point.

Stormwater Treatment Area (STA): A large, constructed wetland designed to remove pollutants, particularly nutrients such as phosphorus, from stormwater runoff using natural processes.

South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD): A regional, governmental agency that oversees the water resources in the southern half of the state – 16 counties from Orlando to the Florida Keys.

It is the oldest and largest of the state’s five water management districts. The agency's mission is to manage and protect water resources of the region by balancing and improving water quality, flood control, natural systems and water supply. A key initiative is cleanup and restoration of the Everglades.


Water Conservation Areas (WCAs): These three areas are primary targets of the Everglades restoration and are major components of the Everglades Protection Area. They are diked areas of the remnant Everglades that are hydrologically controlled for flood control and water supply purposes.

Water Supply/Environmental Regulation Schedule (WSE): A federally authorized set of operating criteria used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, with input from the South Florida Water Management District, to manage the water levels in Lake Okeechobee. Water releases from Lake Okeechobee by the Corps to the estuaries are made in accordance with the WSE.

Watershed: A region or area of land bounded peripherally by a water parting and draining ultimately to a specific watercourse or body of water. For example, Lake Okeechobee and the lands draining into the lake, as well as tributaries from which water leaves the lake, are part of the Lake Okeechobee Watershed.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Boggy Bottom Bog

We had a frog hatch December 16th from this small pool of standing water.

Boggy Bottom Bog

Runoff comes from the ball field and from the school-church parking lot.

Boggy Bottom Bog

Taken from our school door, the "retention pond" holds some water even in our dry season (December to May). Four zones are visible from this and other pictures. The surrounding bog zone, the mostly dry zone of the bog, the soggy zone of the bog and the standing water zone.