NEWS – September 2014 – Groundwater, springs and aquifer recharge, Orlando, FL

For fourteen years in a row the AGWT has convened an annual groundwater conferenece in Florida with a focus on aquifer recharge. In the early years the programs were specifically focused on water management using ASR (Aquifer Storage Recovery), a technolgy of recharging an aquifer via a water well and then recovering the stored water later via the same well. Early recommendations for maintaining the hydrology and ecological integrity of the Everglades wold have involved using 300+ ASR wells. Although this strategy was not adopted for the Everglades, ASR technology has been increasingly adopted as a management tool for utility drinking water supply in Florida.

            More recent AGWT Florida conferences have considered all types of aquifer recharge for water management.  Objectives have included aquifer recharge to sustain spring flows, maintain minimum river flows & lake levels and to reduce the risk of seawater intrusion in coastal aquifers. A recurring program element in all the conferences has been that of water quality regulations covering the recharging of aquifers. Research findings presented at the events have demonstrated the effectivenes of various techniques for pre-treating water before injection and the “conditioning” of the aquifer where the water is stored by repeated recharge and recovery cycles so that the recovered water will meet drinking water standards.

          The 150 Attendees at the 2014 conference included water well contractors, groundwater consultants and engineers, members of environmental organizations, staff from all five of the state’s water management districts, attorneys and federal and state regulators. The twenty-four invited conference presenters included invited keynote presentations from Mark Thomasson, Director, Division of Water Resources, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Florida State Senator David Simmons, District 10, Altamonte Springs.