On the relationship of the Waccasassa and Withlacoochee Basins - August 8th, 1974

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On the relationship of the Waccasassa and Withlacoochee Basins - August 8th, 1974

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On the relationship of the Waccasassa and Withlacoochee Basins - August 8th, 1974
Parker, Garald G. (Garald Gordon), 1905-2000
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Box 2


Subjects / Keywords:
Aquifers -- Hydrogeology -- Everglades (Fla.) ( lcsh )
Hydrology -- Florida -- Biscayne Aquifer (Fla.) ( lcsh )

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University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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The University of South Florida Libraries believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries.
Resource Identifier:
032968560 ( ALEPH )
891343127 ( OCLC )
G16-00695 ( USFLDC DOI )
g16.695 ( USFLDC Handle )

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• ,• I \ August 8, 1974 MEMORANDUM TO: DONALD R. FEASTER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FROM: SUBJECT: GARALD G. PARKER, SEN_IOR SCIENTIST AND CHIEP BYD~OLOGIST ESSAY "ON RELATIONSHIP OF THE WACCASASSA .AND WITHLACOOCHEE BASIN'' Attached .is a copy .of the -above. :essay. pr~pared by-:myself 1and. ~ Pedro -;Bernandez . : . It .is a : conden'sed version o~ a longer_ -repor. t--of-whicb,Pedro-willJ>e: t:be senior author and which he hopes to prepare for delivery before the American Water Resources Association meet~ng in Puerto Rico in November, 1974. Thisessa.y ~is -de~igned . . for-.publication-in _ the...By~os.cop.e._ GGP:lr , cc: Chairman, Board of Governors Members, Board of Governors Members, Waccasassa Basin Board Rodney N. Cherry James A. Mann Bob Evans Melod~e Oleson Bill Courser Pedro lfernandez Bill Tait Charlie Mill~ r Sonny Vergara


. ' . -August 8, 197dj j FROM THE DESK OF THE CHIEF HYDROLOGIST: ON RELATIONSHIP OF THE WACCASASSA AND WITHLACOOCHEE BASINS BY GARALD G. PARKER AND PEDRO A. HERNANDEZ Chapter 16CB-O.O3, Florida Statutes, entitled ''Watershed Basins," states. that: "Pursuant to section 5 of Chapter 61-691, Laws of Florida, the area of the District (SWFWMD) is divided into watershed basins to include each majo~ stream and its tributary streams and all lands draining therein except the Green Swamp watershed basin" (the italics are ours). It is our intent to show that the largest part-of the currently constituted Waccasassa Basin is a tributary of the Withlacoochee, much as the Oklawaba is a tributary of the St. Johns, and. therefore .. shou1d._not._be_transferredout of the,Southwest.Florida.Water-Manag~ent District • . The-Oklawaha, -on the : .other--bartd,-. lis..::a rec.ogniz-ed ""part :.of:::tbe.~..St~o~Ri.Yer .::drainage..:;.-nd .:-. : : should. ,be ~trans:fetted "to 7the: S t Jonns~Wa~r-.._Man~ent-=Di-strict-=..at-::tbe appr~priate. -time. ~ong the eleven basins designa-ted by the State Legislature that comprise Southwest Florida Water Management District are the Waccasassa-and the Withlacoochee. The latter .has ~ts headwaters in the.Green_Swa.mp 12. 0 to 130 feet above sea level, whereas the former has much .lower; heretofore indefinite and gep~rally poorly understood_hy~rologic._boundaries and~ra!f~age.-~ , .In dgeneral, •Qoundar~es =:of-:-tbe :-,des:lgnated~i-ver. basi. m L.follow $ur.fac~ter =divides,~ -excepting :;the. :.areen :::Swamp,J5asin : However ~he;._ . . boundaq4 linaa . • are sta~ttp~~ mig-:.$:ecti.onr"'Township_ and-rRang~l,ouodm:. ie--s ~-.: to_, si.Dn1la~e a: t:he ~opogr~--c:cJdiv:t.des ~Figo~e-; 1) 0 . Tld .. s--4was--dorie for ~-conveni-enc e.--iu 'the: asses -suient-of_ taJtes . J..nasmuch --•s7:JJrQperty -J;,oundari-es"11oxmallj : follow the :land-survey-grid,: -not ,topogr.apllf. c !or.hydrologic. featuressuch ~ -as .stream or surface-drainage divides. Those who .were charged with drawing the boundaries bad difficulty in some areas.disce-rning drainage ~ivides because of-the non-existence of discezuable st:ream headwaters .even :ln ;.those .areas having-good or--.reasonably. good topographic .maps. Some parts of the District are not covered yet by topo-graphic mapping and for the remaining mapped area, the maps usua1ly have only 1O-f~ot contour intervals. Thus, :l.n very f1at .and swampy areas it is -almost impossible 1to ,determine .. just.where.:.:a stream begins or. in downstream swampy areas,.even where 'its channel should 'be' located. : It follows that -some unavoidable errors were .made in drawing bas.in boundaries. In addition to these errors are those caused by the fa.ct that surface-• water basins,. as discriminated by topographi.c divides, do not always. coincide with ~atural ground--water divides. In fact, :ln this District, as shown on Figure 1 and 2, they more often do not.


August 8, 1974 Page Two Thus it was that, when the Waccasassa Basin was drawn, it included a total area of about 1,220:square miles. But more than 72 percent of this vast area, lying in its eastern part, is dr~ined not by the Waccasassa River, which has a drainage of only about 550 square miles, but by groundwater discharge into Rainbow Spring and by numerous smaller springs and seeps into Rainbow (Blue) Run. The area involved in th1.s large groundwater drainage is about 876 square miles and its total runoff is to the Withlacoochee at a line-juncture east of Dunnellon. Figure 1 shows, by means of arrows indicative of regional ground-water flow, the area contributing drainage to the Withlacoochee. Other arrows indicate flow to other places of discharge, and by drawing lines between divergent flow patterns, ground-water basins are defined. Figure 2 shows the northern part of Figure 1, .enlarged and without ground-water flow arr(!Ws. Unfortunately, this information had not been . prepared prior to .the time . . that. the. ori$inal basin h _oundar.ies were establi-shed, Chapter. 61-691, Florida Statutes, 1961, nor was.such.information available at-the --time i -the, subsequ~t -decision :.was:-.:made_.: ~o .transe.rr :it he.; . :Wac.casuu : _ i Bash to thenew ._;_Suwannee ~liveb-Ba'tlin:::Jlater~ -:Hamigem~t:::Dist~~ ~ . --Clia~~, . 72-299..; ~Fiorlda ;,,statutes_.~ a972. -,:Witb' : :.the ~ : new.:rj,nf.ormation-:.:::now. eva'i-1-abl~ = (,-igur~s:: L :and=.-2}, /j_~ cand>e_ showil ,;.that;..._tliei 876, , squa1te : , -miles! ~ theWaccasassa Basin's Raint>ow _Springs-Blue Run -'drainage constitutes .the major tributary to the Withlacoochee River. Boththe map makers of 1961 andthe recent map changers of 1972 recogni~ed that Rainbow Spring and Blue Run, of themselves, constitute a trib~ tary~s tem:.~o -the=Wi thlacoochee , -consequently:a:~~e1 basin.::,.bounciaxy -.!. / is ~drawn2 :so as -to ..i.nclude -,.Rainb-ow:.. Spri~g: -and . Bluei-RUIL'.:W:i thili•;=t:hec .Wi thlaco.oehe~ . Bas-a. i : • Bowav .er r.l:acling~ understandingli>f LheLaxtent:Df --ithe: ~ 1.ana.& , .. : -. drain-ing~hereto~~be: -boundary~..-d,eU.neators::excl.ud.ed :dln. ,:tt:l.~---~ t . to Rainbow : , Spring , •nd Blue; Run-;:. from-tbe~ i tb-'1.-acoochee Bas!.'11~ Th:I:--exeJ.-uded:...., :I area. pro~uces_-:more -~noff: 1per:_:square ,dl e ~-(14 49. -1.ncbest,_per•. yea_~-~ tpan--&lly.,,.~ : 1 other part.of the WithlacoocbeeRiver Basin. The Withlacoochee Rive~~& main stem, from .:its origin ~n the.wetlands of the Green Swamp east of Eva to its mouth_:f.n Withlacoochee Bay w~st of Yankeetown, is some 140.miles_long. Not counting .the . Ra:l.nbow .Springs drainage area., the Withlacoochee 's drainage ... area is about 2 .,020 square miles. Including it would increase the river basin's-size to about 2,896 square miles. Flow of the Withlacoochee must--.be estimated in its-lower--38 miles • . The. tiver is tidal below -the -Inglis , Dam, eleven-miles inland .. from the. river.'s. mouth. Lake Rousseau occupies that part of the river valley-upstream from Inglis Dam for a distance of about 13 miles. The first U.S. Geological Survey stream-gagingstation upstream from the mouth that is unaffected by tides,


' I August 8, 1974 Page Three lake backwater~ or lock.age and releases of flow to the bypass channel is near -Holder, 38 miles above the mouth. Bolder is the farthest-downstream gaging station on the Withlacoochee River before flow enters Lake Rousseau. Its average discharge is abo.ut 7 52 mgd or 8. 65 inches per year, but unmeasured flow of about 10mgd, between Bolder and Lake Rousseau increases the total average river inflow to the lake to about 762 mgd or 8.78 inches per year. Additional inflow to Lake Rousseau of about 509 mgd or about . 14.5 inches per year comes from Rainbow Spring and the 5-mile-long Blue Run. Thus total average daily stream inflow to the lake is 762 mgd + 509 mgd • 1,271 mgd. At average flow rates, Rainbow Spring drainage contributes 5o9 of the . . 1271 total inflow, or 40 percent of the total inflow into Lake Rousseau. Truly, . this makes theRainbow Spri~g tributary-drainage-basin the principal tributary to • t-he -Withlacooehee. liver-,even in . tJ.mes of ~v~rage flow~ Bu Li.ts: uip~nee • can..::be .,,det-erminecl .:-bett;er.;,l>y-...eompar~- •tbe, ~a5 _per~ent • .. : dur,a-t-ion i . fl.ows.+0f -thea!U~~o~-::t:ributariea • ::to : .th~=l.ower, ,-wi t-ldaocbee" =liver. The ~ -95 percent~ low' dutilt!f.oil ;-i.-a --that: flowt-~~~ceeda:-.;.:the=-values indicated on a. f -low~urat-ion~curve0~-=o-f a: giv.eil'T.-st:r:e•:.:9-5 :p ~XFeD:t-.:of .:.-tbe , .t:ae.; :.:: . . it is a time of low flow, such as occurs during long periods of dry weather vhen water-supply is in greatest-demand. At.such periods of low flow, the quantity entering Lake Rousseau from thei ..upper• Wi t-blacoechea-4-s -.abou.tJ.65~ .mgcL.iJherea s thP .... .f.10JL.rom the.. _ Rainbow trJ.butar)'=!arec contrl1nites=--3..9out 5SO square .miles. "The latter is an :independent river bas'in lying between the Witnlact>ochee River


August 8, 1974 Page Four basin on the south and.the-5\Jwannee River basin on the north. Although the IS Waccasassa River basin,not a pa~t of either of these huge river systems it is more closely allied with the Withlacoochee than with the Suwannee. -It should be retained in the Southwest Florida Water Management District and not be transferred to the hydrologically unrelated Suwannee Water Management District which lies entirely northof the Peninsular Florida Bydrologic Divide which separates the Suwannee from the Waccasassa, Withlacoochee and Silver Springs ground-water basins. GGP:lr


.. ..,. -----... ~, ~ • . . •:: 1 : 1 . ---: ... -• , .. ... ..., "". --&•"' -~-,;..,... . l ' -;., T AV LO .. . ......... . -... . I .• ----i.. If, \ ....... ~, ... .. . EXPLANATION • 0.ttnelloft MIi wit~ Ml\,,e1Nt1I, 11,, 11n __:.....go ~ ..... ,_ltlltlelMlrlC IOftlew -------..... • ---_ , .......... ._ ___ ..,... j uauua ... . 1 o 7-. , .1~_,.,. _,-~ l--k:i. POTENTIOM'ETRIC SURFACE oF FLORIDAN AQUIFER •SOUTHWEST . FLORIDA V'iATER MANAGEM,ENT DI $TRICT MAY '1973 ., Prepared by U . S . GEOLOGICAL SURVEY In coope~tlon •1th . SOUTHWEST FLORID~ -WATER M.ANAGEMENT DISTRICT and tht BUREAU of GEOLOGY FLORIDA DEPARTMENT of NATURAL RESOURCES 1973 . ..,, , :I , .__u,.......,...._. ....... , ... _, .. , , -. • • I <4 : 1 . • ,I sotITHWEs1k FLoruni wATER -~1c1 . :t:t; .. [ .. ilil~ ~ ---~ t . ~ e:L::::1~ = ==::j----lllillic:==::::::::::==:~----...


, ll..r C ••• -11 Gr:ou~-w:k~ bac(..-i bcund•r&:, • :11, Black Point --.. --_ L .,.., ... . __n.:..,. ---


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