Northwest Florida Water Management District

Northwest Florida Water Management District


Minimum Flows and Levels Annual Priority List


Section 373.042(1), F.S., requires each water management district to develop minimum flows and levels (MFLs) for specific surface and ground waters within their jurisdiction.  The minimum flow or level for a given waterbody is the limit at which further withdrawals would be significantly harmful to the water resources or ecology of the area.  Minimum flows and levels are calculated using best available information and consider natural seasonal fluctuations; non-consumptive uses; and environmental values associated with coastal, estuarine, riverine, spring, aquatic, and wetlands ecology as specified in section 62-40.473, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.).

Establishment of an MFL involves a series of actions ranging from identification of priority waterbodies to the adoption of District rules codifying each MFL.  Adopted MFLs are considered when reviewing consumptive use permit applications.  A recovery or prevention strategy must be developed for any waterbody where consumptive uses are currently or anticipated to result in flows or levels below an adopted MFL.

The current priority list and timelines are subject to the availability of funds, data collection and analysis needs, climatic conditions, peer review, and rule challenges.  It is anticipated that each proposed MFL will be submitted for scientific peer review following the technical assessment.  The list and schedule are re-evaluated annually, with adjustments made as appropriate. 


Northwest Florida Water Management District MFL Priority List (2013)


Estimated Schedule

MFL Initiation

Technical Assessment Complete1

Rule Adoption

St. Marks River Rise
       (data collection initiated 2013)



To begin immediately upon completion of technical assessment.

Anticipated effective in 6 – 24 months depending on administrative filing(s).

Floridan Aquifer – Coastal Franklin County
       (data collection initiated 2013)



Floridan Aquifer – Coastal Region II



Wakulla Springs
       (data collection initiated 2013)



Sally Ward Spring
       (data collection initiated 2013)



Jackson Blue Spring



Floridan Aquifer – Coastal Bay County



Econfina Creek & Spring Complex



Deer Point Lake



Yellow River



Floridan Aquifer – Inland Walton County

Technical Assessments will be initiated after 2021 with completion anticipated after 2026

Floridan Aquifer – Coastal Gulf County

Floridan Aquifer – Inland Franklin County

Inland Sand and Gravel Aquifer

Morrison Spring

Holmes Blue Spring

Blue Hole Spring

Ponce de Leon Spring

Washington Blue & Potter Spring Complex

Baltzell Spring Group/Upper Chipola Spring Complex

Holmes Creek & Spring Complex

Shoal River

Telogia Creek


1  Current schedule is based on a five-year Technical Assessment but may be shortened based on data and modeling availability.


Waterbodies Subject to Regulatory Reservations

Apalachicola River

Reservations established 2006, expire 2016 (section 40A-2.223, F.A.C.).  The magnitude, duration and frequency of observed flows are reserved, essentially in total, all seasons for the protection of fish and wildlife of the Chipola River, Apalachicola River, associated floodplains and Apalachicola Bay.

Chipola River