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April 9, 2014

SRWMD Governing Board approves its first public-private partnership for dispersed water storage

Live Oak —

On April 8, the Suwannee River Water Management District (District) Governing Board approved the District’s first public-private partnership for dispersed water storage and management with Anderson Land and Timber Company at the Otter Sink tract in Dixie County. This historic project agreement will result in rehydration of approximately 2,000 acres of wetlands, provide for 650 million gallons of water storage volume, and provide approximately 240 gallons of natural aquifer recharge annually. 

Dispersed water storage and management is a cost-effective restoration measure that typically consists of elements such as flashboard risers, ditch blocks, and culverts to recreate more natural hydrology. The District will provide the construction materials and engineering assistance for the Otter Sink project, and the Anderson Land and Timber Company will undertake the construction, operation, and maintenance of the structures on their 12,000 acre Otter Sink tract.

"We are glad to be a partner with the District and are looking forward to implementing this important environmental restoration project," said Joe Anderson III, of Anderson Land and Timber Company.

“The District applauds Anderson Land and Timber Company for stepping up in partnership with the District to accomplish this environmental restoration project,” said District Executive Director Ann Shortelle. “We look forward to many more partnerships of this nature throughout the District.”

Dispersed water storage and management projects reverse old land drainage practices from decades ago. The potential benefits of such projects include rehydration of wetlands and other surface features with resulting habitat restoration, natural aquifer recharge, and downstream flood attenuation. To date, dispersed water storage projects sponsored by the District have been accomplished on public lands. The District looks forward to more public-private partnerships to help accomplish our water supply and restoration goals throughout its 15 county area.

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