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Friday, Mar 27, 2015

Florida aquifer levels up slightly


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BROOKSVILLE - Florida aquifer levels are up, according to the Southwest Florida Water Management District (Swiftmud) weekly update.

Hernando County, along with Citrus, Lake, Levy, Marion and Sumter counties, is designated as Swiftmud's North region. In the week ending July 3, the northern aquifer level was measured at 1.01 feet, up from .94 feet the previous week but significantly lower than the 2.38-foot level recorded on July 3, 2012.

Any levels between 0 and 3 feet are normal aquifer levels.

Swiftmud spokeswoman Terri Behling said aquifer levels tend to fluctuate this time of year due to rain levels.

"The important thing to note is that they're in the normal range," Behling said, adding 2012 numbers were so high due to Tropical Storm Debby, which dumped anywhere from 15 and 20 inches of rain in Hernando County between June 24-27, 2012.

"If we continue to get rain, that can only help," Behling said.

Swiftmud publishes weekly and monthly updates of aquifer levels by region.

According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the majority of the more than 7 billion gallons of water consumed a day by Floridians come from the underground layers of rock and sand that store water.

Thomas Dougherty, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Ruskin, said though June rainfall in Brooksville measured 14.64 inches, or about 7 inches above normal, however, he expects July numbers to return to "normal."

Dougherty said the monthly total for July so far is 4.84 inches, but he expects the monthly total to measure between 6 and 10 inches.

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