Biscayne Aquifer - Renewal & Removal of Groundwater - Page 1


What is an Aquifer?

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Saltwater Intrusion

Saltwater Intrusion Animation

Renewal & Removal of Groundwater - Page 1

Renewal & Removal of Groundwater - Page 2

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Groundwater in the Biscayne aquifer is primarily recharged by precipitation. The amount rainwater that seeps through the ground into the aquifer depends upon how much rainfall occurs during the year. Not all of the rainfall reaches the aquifer. The Miami River Commission estimates:

Less than 15 percent of South Florida's rainwater reaches the Biscayne Bay Aquifer, the region's primary drinking water supply. The rest of evaporated by the sun or drained by canals to the sea.

From U.S. Geological Survey. The Groundwater Atlas of the U.S.. Figure 36
Canal A
Canal B
Modified from Klien and others, 1975.

The Groundwater in the aquifer is also recharged and removed by the Florida Everglades canal system. The canals directly intersect the aquifer.

The canals were constructed in the early part of the twentieth century for the draining of Everglades land for commercial and residential use. In the 1960’s the canal were further developed for controlling flood water.

Figure 36.
"During periods of less than normal precipitation, water passes freely from the aquifer into canals that are dug into it (top diagram). When storm runoff raises canal water levels, the movement of water is reversed (B.)"

(U.S. Geological Survey, Ground Water Atlas of the United States)

Renewal and Removal of Groundwater - page 2

1). U.S. Geological Survey. Water-Resources Investigations Report 96-4285.
Delineation of Saltwater Intrusion in the Biscayne Aquifer, Eastern Dade County, Florida, 1995. By Roy S. Sonenshein. http://www.sflorida.er.usgs.gov/online_reports/wri964285/
2) The Miami River Commission. Greenway Project Themes: The Miami River is an Important Environmental Resource at Risk. http://miamirivercommission.org/greenw3.htm
3) U.S. Geological Survey. The Ground Water Atlas of the United States: Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, HA 730-G. By James A. Miller. Published in 1990. http://capp.water.usgs.gov/gwa/ch_g/index.html