Suwannee Democrat

April 11, 2013

Groundwater levels average or above

River conditions ‘typical’ of normal spring levels, but soon to fall

Andrew McGee
Suwannee Democrat

Live Oak — Groundwater levels for our area are average to above average thanks to TS Debby in late June and recent rains, according to the Suwannee River Water Management District.

According to SRWMD’s Senior Professional Engineer, Megan Wetherington, groundwater levels in Suwannee County are average compared to the last 30 years. 
“Levels have been high in Lafayette County since the tropical storm last year, and they’re average to above average in Hamilton County thanks to the rivers being up,” said Wetherington. “Last year at this time, wells were setting record lows.”

Those river levels are soon to fall, though.

Wetherington said that over the last 80 years, the levels on the Alapaha, Withlacoochee and Suwannee have usually been higher in the spring than during any other time of the year and river conditions right now are “typical of normal spring levels.”

“The Suwannee is falling very slowly, but that should pick up by the end of the month assuming we’re done with the big storms,” said Wetherington. 

Flows on the middle Suwannee springs should be improved once the river drops some more, Wetherington stated.

“Assuming it doesn’t flood again, May and June should be great for people who enjoy the springs,” she said.

Of course flooding chances pick up again during hurricane season, which is June 1 through Nov. 30.

Spring outlook

Those in the Suwannee Valley area can expect to see below-normal precipitation and above average temperatures through June, according to the Climate Prediction Center for the National Weather Service. 
The amount of rainfall have made conditions quite desirable for keeping the grounds moist and good levels for the rivers and lakes.

Wetherington said that we are leaving our normal rainy season, and that April and especially May are relatively dry before wetter summer patterns kick in. 

“Even so, the Climate Prediction Center (for the National Weather Service) says there’s a chance of below-normal precipitation through June,” said Wetherington.