Water-Related News

SWFWMD to Hold Workshop on Minimum and Guidance Levels For Lake Hancock in Polk County

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The Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) invites the public to a workshop on Thursday, Oct. 8 at 3:30 p.m. at the City of Bartow City Commission Chambers located at 450 North Wilson Avenue in Bartow. The purpose of the workshop is to allow for public comment on proposed Minimum and Guidance Levels for Lake Hancock.

The Florida Legislature requires the District to set minimum flows and levels (MFLs) for priority water bodies within the District. A minimum flow or level is the limit at which further water withdrawals will cause significant harm to the water resources and/or environment. Minimum levels are established to protect lakes from impacts associated with ground water and surface water withdrawals. Guidance levels are developed as advisory information on expected water level fluctuations within lake basins. Minimum and guidance levels serve as guidelines for the District’s permitting programs and for development of water resource projects.

During the workshop, District staff will review the technical basis for the proposed levels for Lake Hancock.

The workshop will also provide an opportunity for local government, citizens, and others to be part of the development of the proposed levels and existing levels for Lake Hancock. Information obtained at the workshop will be summarized and made available to the District’s Governing Board. District staff anticipates presenting the proposed levels for Lakes Hancock at the October Governing Board meeting, where the Governing Board may choose to recommend adoption of the minimum and guidance levels into District rules. Governing Board meetings are open to the public and brief oral comments are permitted on meeting agenda items.

A draft report summarizing the proposed minimum and guidance levels for Lake Hancock is available for review and is posted on the District’s Internet site at WaterMatters.org under the Proposed Minimum & Guidance Lake Levels section. In addition, digital copies of the draft reports will be made available at the workshop. For more information regarding the minimum levels, please contact Doug Leeper at 1-800-423-1476, ext. 4272.

Written comments regarding the minimum levels are also welcome and can be submitted via mail or email to Doug Leeper, MFLs Program Lead, at 2379 Broad Street, Brooksville, FL 34604-6899 or doug.leeper@watermatters.org.