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Officials Link Low Rainfall to Poor Spring Health

[Photo: The Silver River is fed by Silver Springs]
[Photo: The Silver River is fed by Silver Springs]

The St. John's Water Management District says it will renew its focus on springs protection in the coming months. The agency's governing board was told at a meeting this week that decreased rainfall is having an impact on the health of Silver Springs in Ocala.

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St. John’s Water Management District spokesman Hank Largin says there’s a lot of public interest in the springs because of the recent drought and some high profile water use applications- including an application from the Adena Springs ranch which wants to take just over five million gallons a day from Silver Springs for a cattle operation. 

Largin says staff will be looking at water flow and water quality data from other springs in the coming months.

He says staff will examine the impacts of low rainfall on those springflows. 

"Are we seeing a decline in springflows at some of the springs or all the springs, what’s the health of the springs in general,” says Largin.

Other springs in central Florida where water quality and flow are impaired include Wekiva Springs, Rock Springs and Blue Spring.

Environmental advocates say the biggest threat to the springs include nutrient runoff from fertilizer and septic tanks, and overuse of water from the aquifer.


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