The Floridan aquifer supplies most of the fresh groundwater for municipal, industrial, and agricultural uses within the 12,400 sq mi St. Johns River Water Management District. Because of the growing demand for water and the variation in rainfall, resource managers need timely information on short-term and long-term changes in the availability of fresh water. The purpose of this report is to explain potentiometric surface maps and their value in assessing the resource, particularly during drought conditions. The Floridan aquifer is recharged by rainfall falling directly on the outcrop of the aquifer, and, where the aquifer is overlain by the surficial aquifer with the water table above the potentiometric surface of the Floridan, by water infiltrating downward from the overlying surficial aquifer. Water is discharged by pumping and free-flowing wells, springflow, and upward leakage into overlying formations, streams, and lakes or into the ocean. Fluctuations in the potentiometric surface reflect net gains (recharge) or losses (discharge) of water stored in the aquifer. Net gains occur during the wet season (June through September) when recharge exceeds discharge and causes the potentiometric surface to rise in most places. Net losses in storage, and declines in the potentiometric surface, follow during the dry season (October through May) when discharge exceeds recharge. Seasonal changes in the potentiometric surface, based on a 2-yr average of water level measurements during May and September 1977, and May and September 1978, are illustrated. Two of the greater long-term declines in the potentiometric surface have occurred in the growing metropolitan areas of Jacksonville and Orlando-Winter Park, the two largest public suppliers of water in the Water Management District. Municipal pumpage increased in Jacksonville from 37 million gallons per day (mgd) in 1961 to 56 mgd in 1980. The increased pumpage and a deficiency in rainfall of 15.8 inches contributed to a decline in the potentiometric surface of as much as 15 ft. Orlando-Winter Park municipal pumpage increasing from 27 mgd in 1961 to 62 mgd in 1980. The periodic preparation of maps showing changes in the potentiometric surface of the aquifer provide the best base information for both short-term and long-term management of the water resources in the St. Johns River Water Management District. (Lantz-PTT)
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Potentiometric surface of the Floridan Aquifer and its use in management of water resources, St. Johns River Water Management District, Florida
Water-Resources Investigations Report
6 maps on 1 sheet : col. ; 23 x 31 cm. and smaller, sheet 60 x 86 cm., folded in envelope 31 x 23 cm.