Challenge. Support water use permit applications and application reviews through demonstration that proposed uses of water do not interfere with any currently existing legal use of water
Solution. As the original developer of the Integrated Hydrologic Model (IHM), INTERA is a recognized expert in the refinement, modification, and application of this model to support a variety of water planning and management activities in the southwest Florida region. The IHM serves as one of the key tools used by the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) to evaluate new water use permit applications and is also used by permit applicants to demonstrate that proposed withdrawals do not interfere with other permitted uses. In support of the SWFWMD Water Use Permit Bureau’s evaluations of applications, INTERA has modified IHM’s well package from actual pumping to specific quantities identified in permit applications. Our experience also includes running IHM simulations for permit applicants. In response to a request for additional information from the SWFWMD regarding a permit application to increase pumping from their Northwest Regional Utility Service Area, Polk County Utilities retained us to perform baseline and future simulations using the IHM to evaluate the effects of the proposed increase in pumping on nearby springflow, streamflow, and aquifer levels. Results of the simulations showed that the increased pumping causes minimal impacts to springflow and streamflow. INTERA’s expertise with the IHM and our ability to rapidly modify and apply the code is proving instrumental in providing the data needed to make informed decisions regarding new water use permits.