Are the sinkholes that are closing highways due to agricultural water use?

01/13/10 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:

In Polk and eastern Hillsborough counties, many wells are drying up and several sinkholes have developed. Some of these sinkholes have closed major highways.

Sinkholes can form when groundwater levels drop dramatically, leading to the collapse of underground limestone caverns. According to Southwest Florida Water Management District spokesperson Robyn Felix, rates of groundwater pumping have been high during the last two weeks of freezing and near-freezing weather.

Southwest Florida Water Management District

Some groundwater data provided by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Tampa 15 near Dover. 26 ft drop in water level since Jan 3, 2010. The daily water level yesterday (38.04 ft) set a new period of record low since 1958. The previous record low (42.30 ft) was Jan 5, 2001.

ROMP 31 Avon Park Well near Ona 19 ft drop since Jan. 3

When you click on this url you will go to the site map for Tampa 15. You can change it to road map, terrain map, or hybrid map. You can get map for all of the sites just by clicking on the drop down arrow near to the real time tab and choosing site map.

ROMP 30 Avon Park Well near Zolfo Springs 29 ft drop since Jan 2

ROMP 26 Avon Park well near Gardner near 30 ft drop since Dec 31

May 2009 Pot Map

comments powered by Disqus