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Project Summary Sheet

U.S. Geological Survey, Greater Everglades Science Program: Place-Based Studies

Fiscal Year 2002 Project Summary Sheet

Project: A Retrospective and Critical Review of Aquifer Storage and Recovery Sites and Conceptual Frameworks of the Upper Floridan Aquifer in South Florida

Web Site:

Location (Subregions & Counties): Southern Florida (including and south of Charlotte, Glades, Okeechobee, and St. Lucie Counties)

Funding (Source): USGS Place-Based Studies

Principal Investigator: Ronald S. Reese,, 305.717.5821

Project Personnel: Robert A. Renken,, 305.717.5822

Other Supporting Organizations: None

Associated / Linked Projects: None

Overview & Status: Aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) has been described as "the storage of water in a suitable aquifer through a well during times when water is available, and recovery of the water from the same well during times when it is needed". Water can be stored in aquifers with poor water quality. Precedence for ASR in southern Florida has been set with wells having been constructed at 27 sites, mostly by local municipalities or counties in coastal areas. The Upper Floridan aquifer, the aquifer of interest to the restoration plan and the aquifer being used at 22 of the 27 sites, is brackish to saline in south Florida, which can have a large impact on the recovery of the fresh or potable water recharged and stored.

Few regional investigations of the Floridan aquifer system hydrogeology in south Florida have been conducted, and the focus of those studies was not on ASR. Lacking a regional ASR framework to aid the decision-making process, ASR well sites in south Florida have been primarily located based on factors such as land availability, source-water quality, and source-water proximity (preexisting surface-water canal systems or surficial aquifer system well fields). Little effort has been made to link information collected from each site as part of a regional hydrogeologic analysis. This five-year study is divided into two phases, the first of which was two years long. The first phase laid the groundwork for data inventory, review, and analysis, and the second will allow for collection of additional data as it becomes available, expand the hydrogeologic framework, and perform a more complete comparative analysis of ASR sites. The study is in the second phase.

Needs & Products: The major products from this study will be two USGS Water-Resources Investigation Reports, one for each phase. The first of these, "Inventory and review of aquifer storage and recovery in southern Florida", WRIR 02-4036, is in press. It includes sections on factors affecting recovery of freshwater, the hydrogeology of the Upper Floridan aquifer, inventory of well and test data, and case studies of four selected ASR sites. The second report will include a comparative analysis of all Floridan ASR sites that have performed adequate cycle testing or operation, and it will relate their performance to factors determined to be critical. It will also include maps on the hydrogeology of the Upper Floridan aquifer.

Application to Everglades Restoration: Aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) in south Florida is proposed on a large scale in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) as a cost-effective water-supply alternative that can help meet needs of agricultural, municipal, and recreational users and help provide Everglades ecosystem restoration. In CERP plans have been made to utilize ASR on an unprecedented scale. However, results of this study should help the managers of the CERP program in locating, designing, constructing, and cycle testing ASR wells. These results should help establish a standard cycle testing protocol that can be used to measure the performance of individual CERP wells or clusters of wells.

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Note: "x" indicates task completed during quarter, and "o" indicates task planned, but not completed

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