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Impoundments: Research-based Alternative Management Concepts. Ed Hanlon , Soil & Water Concepts Sanjay Shukla , Hydrology and Water Quality Concepts Marty Main , Wildlife Research Pam Roberts , Plant Pathology Research Tatiana Borisova , Water Economics and Policy.

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impoundments research based alternative management concepts
Impoundments: Research-based Alternative Management Concepts
  • Ed Hanlon, Soil & Water Concepts
  • Sanjay Shukla, Hydrology and Water Quality Concepts
  • Marty Main, Wildlife Research
  • Pam Roberts, Plant Pathology Research
  • Tatiana Borisova, Water Economics and Policy

Managing the Land to Manage the Water

impoundments in caloosahatchee basin
Impoundments in Caloosahatchee Basin

Permitted (1 inch)


Privately owned

~1/3 have functional wetlands

~2/3 have additional uplands

All of them leak!

water budget for impoundments
Water Budget for Impoundments

Evapotranspiration (4 to 32%)

Rain (4 to 29%)

Pumped inflow

71 to 96%


31 – 39%

subsurface movement

35 to 61%

water supply from impoundments
Water Supply from Impoundments

Weeks of irrigation based on average weekly use in the grove during the irrigation season

Shukla and Jaber (2006, 2005, 2004) – EDIS, ASCE Hydrol. Engg, ASCE Irrig. and Drain. Engg, and ASAE Transact.


Wildlife in Impoundments

  • Most avian species/numbers: Wetlands
  • Seasonal water levels influenced bird community changes
  • Bird species/numbers increased with lower water levels (foraging habitat improved)
  • Deer, hogs (panther prey): Uplands

85 avian species, resident and migratory

  • 37% of native avian species
  • 65% of nesting birds
  • 5 species, state or federally listed

Permitted Impoundments

Retain Stormwater (1 inch=2 feet depth)

Provide Habitat

Improve Water Quality

Additional Strategies

Increase retention (store more than 1 inch)

Control water level in wetlands and ephemeral zone (berms, for example)

Re-use water at beginning of dry season

options for using water from impoundment
Options for Using Water from Impoundment
  • Agricultural (and urban) irrigation
    • Reduce groundwater usage
  • Urban/Agricultural partnership
    • Water quality / quantity credittrading
    • Distributed impoundments – water supply – ASR
  • Encourage landowners to store water (internal drainage or external)

ASR: Aquifer Storage and Recovery



Recyclable Water Containment Area (RWCA)

  • Land temporarily used to contain water for water quality and storage purposes
  • Land is later returned to other uses (rotation)

RWCAs: Recycle nutrients; Store water; Release water slowly; Decrease flows to the coast

40% of water movement is through berm to Outside Borrow Ditch

Co-precipitation of P and organics is possible (Hanlon et al., 2007)

Treatment by-products may be returned to crop land safely


  • Proof of concept stage

Tailwater Recovery Systems

  • Collects water on downhill side from agricultural operations
  • Pumping moves water for irrigation reuse
  • Decreased Consumptive Use
  • Must address risk of disease for crops
percentage of pythium species causing pre and post emergence damping off
Percentage of Pythium species causing pre- and post-emergence damping off

Disease Risks


Disease Risks

  • Slow Sand Filtration
    • Prevents spread of pathogens
    • Effectively removes human and animal contaminants (fecal coliforms-yuck)
    • Colonized by suppressive microorganisms
    • Proven for commercial nursery and greenhouse operations
    • Not demonstrated for vegetables, sugarcane, and field forages
water quality credit trading
Water Quality Credit Trading

Innovative mechanism proposed to address surface water quality


Reduce the overall cost of meeting water quality goals in a basin

Allow individual entities flexibility in choosing pollution abatement technologies

Provide individual entities with incentives to innovate in the pollution abatement sphere

Address future growth in the basin while meeting water quality goals

how does water quality credit trading work
How Does Water Quality Credit Trading Work?

Pollution control costs can differ from source to source.

Overall costs of achieving pollution reduction goals in a Basin can be minimized by allowing sources to reallocate reductions according to their pollution-abatement costs.

Well-designed trading programs can achieve this allocation by harnessing the forces of the market.

simplified example
Simplified Example

Two separate entities within a basin

Each have a water discharge that contributes to phosphorus (P) loading.

simplified example cont
Simplified Example (cont.)

Trading scenario:

WWTP would pay the farmer to remove an extra unit of phosphorus at the lower cost.

Payment that the WWTP makes to the farmer is negotiated between them.


Setting pollution cap / baseline for individual entities

Measuring pollution reduction credits

High transaction costs of finding trading partner and negotiating agreement

Enforcing trading contract and liability issues

P, N


water quality credit trading nationwide perspective
Water Quality Credit Trading – Nationwide Perspective

Source: US EPA 2008.

water quality credit trading nationwide perspective cont
Water Quality Credit Trading – Nationwide Perspective (cont.)


2003: Final Water Quality Trading Policy. ( )

2004: Water Quality Trading Assessment Handbook ( )

2007: Watershed-Based NPDES Permitting ( )


2006: Water Quality Credit Trading Agreement with US EPA ( )

water quality credit trading florida
Water Quality Credit Trading - Florida

FDEP. 2006. Water Quality Credit Trading: A Report to the Governor and Legislature. ( )

CS/HB 547: Water Pollution Control ( )

Lower St. Johns River TMDL Executive Committee. 2008. Lower St Johns River Basin Management Action Plan (Draft) ( )


Potential Water Quantity Credits

  • If allowed by regulations:
    • Quantity credits for reducing urban stormwater volume?
    • Quantity credits for alternative on-farm stormwater use?
    • Reduction of agricultural water pumping from ground / surface water sources?