Ongoing drought conditions not eased by April showers

Even with above-average rainfall in April, abnormally dry conditions continue throughout much of the St. Johns River Water Management District. A full report outlining hydrological conditions was presented at the district’s May Governing Board online teleconference.

Alachua County averaged 4.7 inches of rainfall in April.

Highlights included:

Rainfall

rainfall april
  • April rainfall averaged 4 inches districtwide, which is 1.4 inches above the long-term average for the month.
  • The district’s northern counties were well above average, with Baker County receiving 6.6 inches, Duval County with 5.6 inches and Nassau County with 6.9 inches of rain in April.
  • Seminole, Orange, Flagler and Volusia counties received the least rainfall, reporting between 2.5–3 inches.
  • Districtwide, the cumulative rainfall total over the last 12 months is 46.7 inches, which is 4.3 inches below the long-term average.
  • All counties within the district except Brevard County have a 12-month rainfall deficit.
  • Putnam, Flagler and St. Johns counties each have a 12-month deficit greater than 10 inches.

Groundwater

  • ·       Upper Floridan aquifer conditions (groundwater levels) at the end of April were in the normal range throughout most of the district.
  • ·       Groundwater levels are at the 49th percentile districtwide, which means that since 1980, about 51 percent of the time aquifer levels have been higher than they are now.

Surface water flows

  • Surface water flow conditions in the St. Johns River’s headwaters were in the very low flow range for this time of year — on May 1, flow at the Melbourne station was largely reversed, at a rate of -45 million gallons per day (mgd). 
  • Flow conditions in central Florida were in the low or average range, with the DeLand station reporting 789 mgd on May 1 and 3.3 billion gallons per day (bgd) at the Satsuma station.
  • Flow in the Ocklawaha River was in the low range (473 mgd).
  • At the district’s northern boundary, the St. Marys River flow was in the high range.

Lake levels

  • Lake Brooklyn water levels decreased 0.6 feet and is just below its the long-term average level.
  • Lake Weir decreased 0.1 foot during April.
  • Lake Winnemissett levels decreased 0.3 foot.
  • Lake Apopka’s water level decreased 0.2 foot, consistent with its regulation schedule for April.
  • Blue Cypress Lake levels increased 0.2 foot and remains well below its regulation level for this time of year.

Spring flows

  • ·       The mean monthly flow at Silver Springs decreased to 656 cubic feet per second (cfs) or 424 mgd, in April.
  • ·       Flow in Volusia Blue Spring decreased during April, with a monthly mean of 150 cfs, a decrease of 6 cfs from the March report.
  • ·       Flows at Rock Springs and Wekiwa Springs decreased very slightly, with mean monthly flows of 58 cfs and 64 cfs, respectively.

To learn more about rainfall totals and other hydrologic data collected, visit sjrwmd.com

Visit the district’s Water Less campaign webpage at WaterLessFlorida.com and follow the district on social media to learn ways to conserve water outdoors.

 The St. Johns River Water Management District staff are committed to ensuring the sustainable use and protection of water resources for the benefit of the people of the district and the state of Florida. The St. Johns River Water Management District is one of five districts in Florida managing groundwater and surface water supplies in the state. The district encompasses all or part of 18 northeast and east-central Florida counties. District headquarters are in Palatka, and staff also are available to serve the public at service centers in Maitland, Jacksonville and Palm Bay.

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