The Florida Everglades is a large and diverse aquatic ecosystem that has been greatly altered over the past century by an extensive water control infrastructure designed to increase agricultural and urban economic productivity. The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), launched in 2000, is a joint effort led by the state and federal government to reverse the decline of the ecosystem. Increasing water storage is a critical component of the restoration, and the CERP included projects that would drill over 330 aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) wells to store up to 1.65 billion gallons per day in porous and permeable units in the aquifer system during wet periods for recovery during seasonal or longer-term dry periods.
To address uncertainties regarding regional effects of large-scale ASR implementation in the Everglades, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the South Florida Water Management District conducted an 11-year ASR Regional Study, with focus on the hydrogeology of the Floridan aquifer system, water quality changes during aquifer storage, possible ecological risks posed by recovered water, and the regional capacity for ASR implementation. At the request of the USACE, Review of the Everglades Aquifer Storage and Recovery Regional Study reviews the ASR Regional Study Technical Data Report and assesses progress in reducing uncertainties related to full-scale CERP ASR implementation. This report considers the validity of the data collection and interpretation methods; integration of studies; evaluation of scaling from pilot-to regional-scale application of ASR; and the adequacy and reliability of the study as a basis for future applications of ASR.
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