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Internal Surface Water Flows

Project Proposal for 2001

Continuing Project Work Plan - FY 2001

Identifying Information

Project Chief: Mitch Murray
Email: mmurray@usgs.gov
Phone: 305-717-5827
Fax: 305-717-5801
Mail address:
U.S. Geological Survey-Water Resources Division
9100 NW 36 St.,Suite 107
Miami, Fl 33178

Ecosystem: South Florida
Project Start Date: OCTOBER 1995
Project End Date: SEPTEMBER 2001
Project Number: 4598-62000


Project Summary: Proposed modified water deliveries to Indian Tribal Lands, Big Cypress National Preserve, and Water Conservation Area 3A require that flow at critical points in the interior be measured. This task provides flow data to supplement the current gaging station network in the area south of Lake Okeechobee and is an integral component of the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD)/Seminole Indian TribAgree ment.The accurate determination of flow through the interior canal networks south of Lake Okeechobee and the C-139 basin is necessary for water budgets and regional model calibrations as defined by the Everglades Forever Act of 1994.


FY 2000 Accomplishments: Three sites have been located at critical water delivery points to Tribal Lands for which information was previously lacking (program reduced to two sites in FY 2000).A unique experiment was conducted with much success. The original data collection and processing was provided by three separate entities at each site with responsibilities allocated between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Seminole and Miccosukee Indian Tribes, and SFWMD. All three sites originally instrumented with USGS acoustic velocity meters (AVM's), stage shaft encoders, data loggers with real-time flow-weighted algorithms, and radio frequency (RF) telemetry instrumentation provided by the SFWMD. RF telemetry, maintained and operated by SFWMD, is currently used to record and transmit all data from the field into data bases of the USGS Miami Subdistrict office through SFWMD data bases. The USGS mean-channel-velocity/AVM index-cali bration refinement has continued by performing a series of periodic streamgaging mea surements utilizing the Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) when appropriate streamflow velocities were available. Continuous records of discharge have been com puted by the USGS and published in SFWMD/Seminole Indian Tribe data reports on a semi-annual basis. Autosamplers, installed by SFWMD at each USGS AVM site, have been maintained and operated by the Seminole Tribe (two sites) and the Miccosukee Indian Tribe until September 1999(one site) for sampling of real-time flow-weighted nitrates and phosphates based on USGS/SFWMD AVM algorithm triggers. All autosam pler data has been processed and quality assured by the respective Tribe with direction and training to the Seminoles provided by the SFWMD and with nutrient loads computed by a separate agreement between the Tribes and SFWMD. In addition Seminole Tribe nutrient sample analysis has been performed by the USGS Ocala laboratory.

FY 2000 Major Products: The implementation of strategically located streamflow gaging points and associated data collection for nutrients has helped define future surface-water flow requirements and have provided valuable baseline data prior to the establishment of the recently implemented northern Storm Treatment Areas (STA's 5 and 6) and the Roten berger Wildlife Management Area. Generating continuous flow data at selected impact points for interior basins has complemented the existing eastern canal discharge network, and has allowed for more accurately timed surface-water releases while providing flow and nutrient monitoring after recent STA implementation. One of the primary benefits of this USGS collaboration effort has been the technology transfer that has occurred through contact with Tribe and state entities. This intimate association has allowed USGS techni cal staff exposure to new techniques involving acoustic flow-weighted nutrient load proto cols with relatively minimal funding and manpower investment. The expeditures made by the State are much larger in scope than would be possible for the Interior Flows program alone. The USGS, as members of the Seminole Working Group, have gained exposure to unique problems and conditions encountered upstream of Internal Flows stations at SFWMD gages. This exposure has aided in comprehending velocity circulation patterns previously ill defined by at the downstream USGS sites on the L-28 Intecepter Canal and has yielded transfer application and quality assurance techniques for use in the existing larger index velocity network the USGS Miami Hydrologic Records section is currently responsible for. Quantifying the effects of this low flow problem in conjuction with instru ment experimentation by the SFWMD has allowed USGS personnel the benefits of over sight without significant cost expenditures. Data products include daily value stage and discharge for three velocity index discharge sites and provisional daily value data pro duced biannually for the Seminole Working Group Report.

FY 2001 Stakeholders/Outreach: The primary entities interested in monitoring these flow ways are the Seminole and Miccosukee Indian Tribes, who have the greatest concern over water allocation and nutrient loads provided by upstream regulation as a result of the Everglades Forever Act of 1994. The SFWMD implements previously defined water-reg ulation schedules and also operates similar data collection stations upstream where the pri mary flow ways enter the Reservations. Big Cypress National Preserve and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection are secondary concerned parties with interests in both water budgets and nutrient loads leaving Tribal Lands. This data collection effort will also be instrumental in the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Restudy Plan, which proposes breaches (among several other alternatives) in the L-28 Intercepter Canal.


Timeline (FY 2001 to project end): Major tasks: The Seminole Tribe is now contributing 50% of the funding for the two remaining cooperative USGS/Seminole sites. Continuation of data collection at these two remaining Seminole Tribal sites will be critical in determining the flow and nutrient base line prior to implementation of the future Rotenburger Wildlife Management regulation schedule. Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) land procurement and SFWMD STA-5 pump installations will be finalized this year followed by a period of rain fall driven data collection for the purpose of model calibration.


1) Abtew, W., 1996, Scheme for flow -proportional sampling from variable flow canals: West Palm Beach, Fl., South Florida Water Management District.

2) Murray, M.H., 1996, South FLorida Ecosystem Program - internal surface water flows: U.S. Gelogical Survey Fact Sheet 175-96.

3) South Florida Water Management District, 1992, Surface Water and Improvement (SWIM) Plan for the Everglades - support information document: West Palm Beach, FL., South Florida Water Management DIstrict, 472p.

4) South Florida Water Management District, 1994, Draft District Water Management Plan: West Palm Beach, FL., South Florida Water Management District, 472p.

FY 2001 Activities: Continued ADCP calibration and analysis of low flow conditions at the remaining two Seminole Tribal sites by organizing streamgaging work details during specific flow periods where calibration is lacking. Refinement of the mean velocity/AVM line velocity relationship will be continued after future discharge measurements are obtained during the summer months. Operation and maintenance of the three AVM sites will also include electromagnetic point velocity analysis at one site. Daily value stage and discharge tables will be published for period of record. A minor effort to determine the viability of relating Total Suspended Solids (TSS) to individual nutrient constituents will be carried out on a long term historical surface water site to determine whether a poten tially viable relationship could be derived between the newly installed doppler meters acoustic backscatter and TSS at the L-28IN site. This data is currently being collected and available at no extra cost to this project.

FY 2001 Deliverables and Products: Interim provisional daily stage and discharge will be provided for inclusion in the periodic SFWMD publication entitled: SFWMD/Seminole Working Group Progress Report. Daily value stage and discharge will be published for period of record in the data report entitled: "Water Resources Data Florida, Water Year 2000 Volume 2A". Statistics to be included are: monthly totals, means, maximums, mini mums, annual totals, means, highest and lowest daily means, annual seven-day minimum, annual runoff in acre feet to include 10, 50, 90 exceedance percentages.

Planned Outreach Activities: Outreach provided by attendance at biannual technical meet ings and will be directed to the Seminole Indian Tribe of Florida, and other agencies such as the SFWMD, Big Cypress Basin Preserve, Florida Department of Environmental Pro tection, and local agencies or groups that have an interest in the health of the south Florida ecosystem.

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Last updated: 09 April, 2014 @ 11:00 AM (KP)