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

Project Proposal for 2001


Project title: Synthesis on the impact of 20th Century water-management and land-use practices on the coastal hydrology of southeast Florida
Project chief: Robert A. Renken
Region/Division/Team/Section: WRD, SR, Florida District, Miami Subdistrict
Email: rarenken@usgs.gov
Phone: 305 717 5822
Fax: 305 717 5801
Mail address:
U.S. Geological Survey
9100 NW 36th St. , Suite 107
Miami, FL 33178

Program(s): Place Based Programs
Ecosystem: South Florida
Project start date: Oct. 1, 1998
Project end date: Sept. 30, 2001



FY 1999-2001 scientific accomplishments

  • Compiled background data and source of illustrations which can depict multi-county geology and hydrogeology.
  • Compiled municipal pumpage data and have prepared series of maps showing annual muncipal well pumpage rates between 1940 and present day.
  • Data and maps of transmissivity from previous investigations have been compiled over the three-county area are combined for regional map showing permeability within the surficial aquifer system.
  • Compiling data and preparing maps which show hydrochemical facies (major anion/cations) within the surficial aquifer system over the three-county area. Data compilation effort collection for Miami-Dade and Broward Counties has been completed.
  • In process of compiling ground-water and canal stage data; purpose is to build a temporal series of potentiometric surface maps. Maps to show 5-year "average conditions" during wet and dry seasons. Will be used to generate "difference" maps showing regional changes. A reconnaissance of data within the office has produced pot surface maps for Miami-Dade County dating from 1965-1989 and for Broward County dating from 1972-1989. However, few region-wide potentiometric maps have been identified. A wide variety of published work includes historical maps from local areas (wellfields) has been inventoried.
  • De-construction of canal system 95% complete (a few minor exceptions). Modified a GIS canal coverage such that a "construction completion" attribute is now. Coverages can be used to illustrate temporal development of canal system in three county area. Temporal canal coverage to be enhanced with landuse data provided by NMD.
  • Preliminary maps showing the ‘five-year average potentiometric surfaces’ for dry (April) and wet (Oct) season conditions during 1940-44, 1970-74, and 1990-94 are nearly complete. Temporal canal coverages described above were used to develop such maps.
  • Maps showing spatial variability water levels differences between specific time periods are in progress. A preliminary map showing how water levels compare between the 1940’s and 1990’s shows that average ground water levels in western Miami-Dade and Broward Counties below historical estimates, presumably due to urban/suburban sprawl toward the Everglades. Coastal ground-water levels in some areas in south Dade are higher today (1990-94) than during the 1940’s, which may reflect management practices to mitigate saltwater intrusion.
  • Hydrographs showing dry and wet season trends of canal stage and outflows have been constructed along major canals. Trend data suggest discharge to the ocean has decreased between 1940 and present day, whereas canal stage has been maintained at higher levels (to mitigate saltwater intrusion).
  • Land use data compilation: Collected historical map information from in-house and collections. This included mostly 7.5' topographical map series circa 1945 through 1983. Also collected existing land use coverages for study area from various sources. These land use covers are for 1900, 1953, 1972, 1988, 1995. They will be used as benchmark data for a land use model. Collected historical map information from State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection, University of Florida, University of Miami, South Florida Historical Museum, and Broward County Historical Museum. Approximately 200 historical maps were scan digitized using a large format black and white digital scanner.
  • Georeferencing acquired historical maps for use in GIS. Began creating temporal vector road and railroad GIS layers. These layers will be used to illustrate the construction of roads and other development over the 100-year timespan.
  • Unable to provide update from NMD project member--family illness issues.
  • Maps and other graphical information showing historical changes in salinity within Bicayne Bay in preparation (as determined from benthic foraminifera data). Chart showing age of sediments and benthic foraminifera type is completed

FY 2001 outcomes - Write final report, prepare web page for SOFIA.

FY 2000 products completed or nearly completed - Progress or completed below.

FY 2000 stakeholder meetings or other outreach activities: Poster prepared and used at USGS-SFWMD annual meeting and presents several themes that help to illustrate changes in land-use and water-management practices.

WORK PLAN (Time line FY 1999 to 2001):

Task FY1999
FY2000 FY2001 worker
Status (projected thru FY’99) or scheduled completion % complete Scheduled completion
Literature search ongoing July 2000   All
Development of GIS coverages        
Annual municipal well field pumpage 100% completed   Memberg
Agricultural water use (proposed task for FY 00) NEW TASK 0% Currently in process of evaluating task feasibility July 2001 (if shown to be feasible) Dixon, Marella (consulting only)
Temporal development of canal system 100% completed   Dixon, Memberg, Rogers
5yr average April (dry)/Oct (wet) potentiometric maps for urban corridor   June 2000 95% complete   Leitz, Dixon, Rogers
Map showing water level differences   10%   Leitz, Dixon, Rogers
Land use analysis (NMD)        
Data collection 80% Dec. 2000   Koehmstedt
Recoding existing land use coverages 80% completed   Koehmstedt
Development of new land use coverages from topo sheets 0% To be completed   Koehmstedt
Development of population density maps for selected years (proposed for FY2000) 10% June 2000   Koehmstedt
Write-up   Sept 2000   Koehmstedt
Background illustrations        
Geology 40% June 2000   Rogers,Renken
Climate, physiography, topopraphy 80% June 2000   Rogers, Renken
Salt water intrusion maps        
Hydrochemical facies 80% completed   Memberg
Integration of existing saltwater interface coverages 80% completed   Dixon, Patterson
Compilation of existing salt water interface maps 60% completed   Patterson, Memberg
Conduct trend analysis in selected wells to illustrate sw intrusion 0% To be started mid FY 2000 To be completed Rogers, Renken
Integration of salinity data files where needed 0% Nov. 2000   Memberg, Dixon, Renken
Water budget – selected yrs. (obtain from SFWMD model) 0% Information obtained but not evaluated Dec. 2000 Renken, Patterson
Synthesize interpretative information from other ecosystem studies 10% 25% Dec. 2000 Renken
Prepare final illustrations 0%   Mar. 2001 Swidarski
Revise annotated outline and begin draft report 50% July 2000   Renken
Report 0%   Mar. 2001 Renken

FY 2001 activities: Specific tasks are shown above. Final report is planned (U.S. Geological Survey Circular, FY 2001).

FY 2001 outreach: nothing planned

New directions or major changes for FY 2001: No major changes planned. Two major activities remain to be completed: analysis on long-term changes in choride well data and an effort to spatially illustrate historical agricultural water use. Analysis of long-term rainfall patterns being considered insufficient data may be available. Currently evaluating whether sufficient post-1940’s data are available.


Specific name or position title Team/Division
R.A. Renken, Hydrologist WRD, Miami
Raul Patterson, Hydrologist WRD, Miami
Joann Dixon, Computer Specialist WRD, Miami
Kim Swidarski, Illustrator WRD, Miami
Jeff Rogers, Student WRD, Miami
Scott Isman, Geologist, Contract University
John Koehmstedt, Cart. Spec. NMD, Reston

Major equipment/facility needs: no new needs.

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Last updated: 09 April, 2014 @ 10:56 AM (KP)