Hydrologic Conditions in West-Central Florida
The Floridan aquifer system consists of the Upper and Lower Floridan aquifers separated by the middle confining unit. The middle confining unit and the Lower Floridan aquifer in west-central Florida generally contain highly mineralized water. The water-bearing units containing fresh water are herein referred to as the Upper Floridan aquifer. The Upper Floridan aquifer is the principal source of water in the Southwest Florida Water Management District and is used for major public supply, domestic use, irrigation, and brackish water desalination in coastal communities (Southwest Florida Water Management District, 2000).
This map report shows the potentiometric surface of the Upper Floridan aquifer measured in May 2006. The potentiometric surface is an imaginary surface connecting points of equal altitude to which water will rise in tightly-cased wells that tap a confined aquifer system (Lohman, 1979). This map represents water-level conditions near the end of the dry season, when ground-water levels usually are at an annual low and withdrawals for agricultural use typically are high. The cumulative average rainfall of 50.23 inches for west-central Florida (from June 2005 through May 2006) was 2.82 inches below the historical cumulative average of 53.05 inches (Southwest Florida Water Management District, 2006). Historical cumulative averages are calculated from regional rainfall summary reports (1915 to most recent complete calendar year) and are updated monthly by the Southwest Florida Water Management District.
This report, prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Southwest Florida Water Management District, is part of a semi-annual series of Upper Floridan aquifer potentiometric-surface map reports for west-central Florida. Potentiometric-surface maps have been prepared for January 1964, May 1969, May 1971, May 1973, May 1974, and for each May and September since 1975. Water-level data are collected in May and September each year to show the approximate annual low and high water-level conditions, respectively. Most of the water-level data for this map were collected by the U.S. Geological Survey during the period May 15-19, 2006. Supplemental water-level data were collected by other agencies and companies. A corresponding potentiometric-surface map was prepared for areas east and north of the Southwest Florida Water Management District boundary by the U.S. Geological Survey office in Altamonte Springs, Florida (Kinnaman, 2006). Most water-level measurements were made during a 5-day period; therefore, measurements do not represent a 'snapshot' of conditions at a specific time, nor do they necessarily coincide with the seasonal low water-level condition.
Water levels in about 95 percent of the wells measured in May 2006 were lower than the May 2005 water levels (Ortiz and Blanchard, 2006). May 2006 water levels in 403 wells ranged from about 26 feet below to about 6 feet above May 2005 water levels (fig. 1). Significant water level declines occurred in eastern Manatee County, southwestern Polk County, southeastern Hillsborough County, and in all of Hardee County. The largest water level declines occurred in southwestern Hardee County. The largest water level rises occurred in south-central Pasco County, northeastern Levy County, northwestern Marion County, and along the gulf coast from Pasco County to Citrus County (fig. 1).
Water levels in about 96 percent of the wells measured in May 2006 were lower than the September 2005 water levels (Ortiz, 2006). May 2006 water levels in 397 wells ranged from about 31 feet below to 3 feet above the September 2005 water levels. The largest water level decline was in west-central Hardee County and the largest rise in water levels was in south-central Pasco County.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Potentiometric Surface of the Upper Floridan Aquifer, West-Central Florida, May 2006