Floridan Aquifer System Groundwater Availability Study

Atlantic Ocean, North Peninsula State Recreation Area, Volusia County, Florida: Photo by Alan Cressler, USGS
Atlantic Ocean, North Peninsula State Recreation Area, Volusia County, Florida: Photo by Alan Cressler, USGS

The primary objectives of this study are to (1) quantify current groundwater resources, (2) evaluate how groundwater resources have changed over time, and (3) provide tools to better understand responses of the Floridan aquifer system to stresses from future human and environmental uses. Results of this analysis will be used, to the extent possible, to forecast the hydrologic responses of the aquifer system to future human (water use) and environmental (drought and sea-level rise) stresses and assist in the evaluation and design of existing and new groundwater monitoring networks.

In general, this study aims to assess the cause-and-effect behavior of the Floridan aquifer system based on past, current, and future conditions. The study will focus on providing the foundational information and tools for understanding and assessing the behavior of the aquifer system in the context of water availability. The Floridan aquifer system model will be a key tool developed during the study. Thus, this foundational knowledge can be used by resource managers and stakeholders to appropriately and effectively address Federal, State, and local interests. The following are key components of the study that will advance our knowledge:

  • Update the hydrogeologic framework and conceptual model of the Floridan aquifer system using geophysical, meteorological, hydrologic, and water-use data collected during the last 20 to 30 years. Status: completed (Williams and Kuniansky, 2015 and Williams and Dixon, 2015)
  • Quantify current (19952010) water availability in the Floridan aquifer system and its sensitivity to varying meteorological and water-use conditions. Status: in progress
  • Assess possible changes in future water availability, in terms of (a) groundwater depletion, (b) saltwater intrusion, and (c) groundwater divide migration, in the Floridan aquifer system under potential future climate conditions, sea-level rise, and increased groundwater demand. Status: in progress