Keeping the Peace

Probably the most famous stream gaging station on the Peace River is at Arcadia.

.It’s also the oldest: Dating back to 1931, courtesy of the US Geological Survey.

That was back in the day when the Floridan Aquifer slow fed it with baseflow, most famously at Kissingen Spring, which according to Justin Richards (see Let It Flow article), ceased to flow sometime in the 1950s or 1960s.

Tom Palmer of The Ledger points out that it was the first time in Florida that a second-order magnitude spring went dry. He also highlights active nature of debate on how to restore the Peace: if and what it would take to get the spring flowing again.

Swiftmud has a new plan in hand to try to revive flows in the Peace, but focusing on replacing the “slow drip” from the aquifer below with a rejuvinated Source of the Nile upstream: a re-engineered Lake Hancock, with a new dam. You can get an overview of that plan in Nicola M. White’s recent article in The Tampa Tribune.

During times of drought, the plan is to use the lake to Keep The Peace up and running, or in this case, maintaining the base flow that once came from the aquifer below.

Whether that spring is sleeping or dead: it would be sort of poetic to bring it back to life.

Watershed enthusiasts and history buffs love to dream about that sort of stuff.

Suffice it to say, it’s been a tough go for the Peace the past couple year. After flowing above average for much of 2005, even topping 6,000 cfs in early summer of that year, it’s been 3 consecutive years of just the opposite: flow have dropped below 100 cfs for significant stretches in 2006, 2007, and now 2008.

Most recently, it dropped down to a 20 cfs flow rate in May. Yikes!

But now the summer rains seem to be kicking in. The data I posted above only runs through May 25th.

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