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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Record low flows and levels may bring water shortage order

Published 4/25/2012 The Gainesville Sun The extended drought continues to plummet the region's springs, rivers, lakes and groundwater levels to historic lows.

Now, the Suwannee River Water Management District is mulling a potential water shortage order that would place more stringent restrictions on watering and irrigation for residential, agricultural, commercial and industrial users.

The annual flow along the Santa Fe River for the past 12 months was the lowest for any year-long span since data first were collected in 1927, Wetherington said.

Near Bronson, Levy Blue Spring, historically a third-magnitude spring, stopped flowing in late March.

A county summary of a groundwater pumping report the U.S. Geological Survey releases every five years showed that, in 2005, some 782 million gallons per day were pumped from the aquifer in 22 North Florida counties.

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