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Project Summary Sheet

U.S. Geological Survey, Greater Everglades Science Initiative (Place-Based Studies)

Fiscal Year 2003 Project Summary Report

Project Title: ASR Coordination

Project Start Date: 2002 Project End Date: 2004

Web Sites: not applicable

Location (Subregions, Counties, Park or Refuge): south Florida, Lake Okeechobee, Hillsboro Canal, and Caloosahatchie River

Funding Source: USGS's Greater Everglades Science Initiative (PBS)

Principal Investigator(s): R.A. Renken

Project Personnel: R.A. Renken

Supporting Organizations:

Associated / Linked Projects: CERP ASR pilot and regional Project Management Teams, PBS ASR retrospective, CERP funded project to examine existing core material.

Overview & Objective(s): The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan relies heavily on ASR technology. The CERP includes approximately 333 ASR wells in South Florida with a total capacity of over 1.6 billions gallons per day. Much of the 'new water' in the CERP is derived from storing excess water that was previously discharged to the ocean. However, this new water would not be very useful unless there is a place to store it for use during dry periods. ASR is included in the CERP as one mechanism to provide this storage. Despite construction of some ASR facilities by local utilities, there remains a considerable number of significant technical and engineering-related uncertainties.

The objectives of this project are to:

  1. Track CERP ASR-related activities.
  2. Constructively critique ongoing, proposed, and or completed CERP ASR technical activities.
  3. Suggest, recommend, encourage, cajole or strongly insist changes be made to the technical direction of specific tasks if or when they are identified so they resolve technical uncertainties outlined in the ASR issue team.

Status: In late FY02-early FY 03, CERP sponsors (USACE and SFWMD) planned to conduct and complete 5 early-start regional ASR activities. The USGS study that evaluated core material in a Highlands County well was the first to be completed and the only one thus far resulting in a publishable document.

Recent & Planned Products:

Fies, M.A., Renken, R.A. and Komlos, Shawn, 2002, Considerations for regional ASR in restoring the Florida Everglades, USA, in Dillon, P.J., Management of Aquifer Recharge for Sustainability, Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Artifical Recharge, Adelaide, Australia, The Netherlands: A.A. Balkema Publishers, p. 341-346.

Renken, R.A., Fies, M.W., Komlos, Shawn, 2002, (Abstract) Technical considerations for a large network of ASR wells in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Program in Kuniansky, E.K., ed., U.S. Geological Survey Artificial Recharge Workshop Proceedings, Sacramento, California, April 2-4, 2002: U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 02-89, p 84.

Ward, W.C., Cunningham, K.J., Renken, R.A., Wacker, M.A., and Carlson, J.I., 2003, Sequence-Stratigraphic Analysis of the Regional Observation Monitoring Program (ROMP) 29A Test Corehole and Its Relation to Carbonate Porosity and Regional Transmissivity in the Floridan Aquifer System, Highlands County, Florida: Prepared as part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Program, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 03-201, 34 p., plus appendixes (http://fl.water.usgs.gov/Abstracts/ofr03_201_ward.html).

Relevance to Greater Everglades Restoration Information Needs:
Specific issues which have been identified in the USGS Science Plan include:
What are the hydrogeologic controls on ASR?
Will recovered ASR waters be compatible with receiving environments and aquatic and terrestrial biota?
How will the ASR program affect freshwater marshes, estuarine zones, and aquifer productivity?
How will water storage and recovery periods for ASR affect hydroperiod and water quality reliant processes and functions in the south Florida ecosystem?
How will ASR affect the water quality of the freshwater marshes and estuarine zones?

Key Findings:

  1. An analysis was conducted to describe and interpret the lithology of a part of the Upper Floridan aquifer penetrated by the Regional Observation Monitoring Program (ROMP) 29A test corehole in Highlands County, Florida. Information obtained was integrated into a conceptual model that delineates likely CERP ASR storage zones and confining units in the context of sequence stratigraphy. Carbonate sequence stratigraphy correlation strategies appear to reduce risk of miscorrelation of key ground-water flow units and confining units.
  2. A hierarchical arrangement of rock unit cycles can be identified; High Frequency Cycle formed of peritidal, subtidal, and deeper subtidal) form High Frequency Sequence, and those can be grouped into Cycle Sequences. There appears to be a spatial relation among wells that penetrate water-bearing rocks having relatively high and low transmissivities.
  3. Assuming hydrogeologic conditions observed in the ROMP 29A well are representative of in south-central Florida, the uppermost (Lower Hawthorn-Suwannee) of two likely CERP ASR storage zones does not appear to be viable with respect to the proposed 200 CERP ASR facility planned to be sited northwest of Lake Okeechobee. Insufficient data were available to adequately characterize the lower flow zone contained within the Avon Park Formation.

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