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Synthesis On The Impact of 20th Century Water-Management And Land-Use Practices On The Coastal Hydrology Of Southeastern Florida

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Abstract | Saltwater Intrusion | Land Use and Land Use Cover | Surface Water Conveyance System | Municipal Water Use | Agricultural Water Use | Ground-Water Flow System | Canal Stage and Discharge | Impact on Ecosystem

Evolution Of A Surface Water Conveyance System

1920 map of southeast Florida surface water conveyance system

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1940 map of southeast Florida surface water conveyance system

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The surface water conveyance system in southeast Florida was primarly designed to drain the Everglades and to meet the needs of an expanding agricultural industry. By 1917, the North New River, Miami canals extended southwestward from Lake Okeechobee to the Atlantic Ocean with the Hillsboro, West Palm Beach canals completed by 1924. The Lake Worth Drainage District (Palm Beach County) and the Tamiami Canal were completed by the end of the 1920's. Large-scale drainage projects of the 1940's and 1950's were accompanied by the rapid development of agricultural and urban communities.

1960 map of southeast Florida surface water conveyance system

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1980 map of southeast Florida surface water conveyance system

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Water conservation areas were partitioned during the early 1960's separating large sawgrass prairies by levees and borrow canals. Flood protection projects during the early 1960's included installation of pump stations to remove runoff in the Everglades Agricultural Areas. By the 1980's, the surface water conveyance system in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties evolved into a 1,700 mile-system of canals, levees, and control structures. The South Dade Conveyance System was completed in 1983, designed to provide flood protection for agricultural and industrial areas, and to maintain a freshwater head against saltwater intrusion.

Next: Temporal Change in Municipal Water Use

For more information contact:

Bob Renken
U.S. Geological Survey
9100 N.W. 36th Street Suite 107,
Miami, FL, 33178
Phone: (305) 717-5822
Fax: (305) 717-5801
EMAIL: rarenken@usgs.gov

Related information:

SOFIA Project: Synthesis on the impact of 20th Century water-management and land-use practices on the coastal hydrology of southeast Florida

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Last updated: 04 September, 2013 @ 02:07 PM (KP)