Melbourne Consumptive Use Permit

City of Melbourne, FL

The City of Melbourne (City) owns and operates two water treatment facilities that utilize surface water and brackish groundwater sources, therefore operating a unique water supply system which utilizes 100 percent alternative water supply (AWS) to meet customer demands. The City is planning to expand their Reverse Osmosis Treatment facility, which treats brackish groundwater, from 5.0 to 10.0 MGD to increase water quality with the goal to baseload this facility and use its 20 MGD surface water treatment facility to supplement the water demand.

The City was due to renew its Consumptive Use Permit (CUP) with the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) in early 2019. Reiss Engineering assisted the City of Melbourne to obtain a 30-Year CUP, the first one in SJRWMD, to continue to meet the City’s rising water demand in the next 30 years. The City met the regulatory criteria to request a 30-year permit, one being that the City completely relies on AWS to meet water demand.

As a collaborative effort between the SJRWMD, the City and its consultants, the City demonstrated that the requested slight increase in ground water and surface water allocation did not have significant environmental impacts. For example, the East Central Florida (ECF) ground water flow model was used to show that the estimated drawdowns in both the surficial aquifer system (SAS) and the upper Floridan aquifer (UFA) system are less than or equal to 0.15 feet (ft.) and 2.50 ft., respectively. As part of the CUP application process, Reiss:

  • Performed modeling on the groundwater supply
  • Assisted the SJRWMD with the modeling of the surface water supply
  • Performed population and water demand projections
  • Performed an environmental impact assessment on the proposed withdrawal allocations
  • Prepared and submitted the CUP permit renewal application
  • Met with the SJRWMD in advance of submitting the permit renewal application

As a result of these efforts, the City of Melbourne was the first public water supplier to be awarded a 30-year CUP from SJRWMD.

Data Points

  • Size: 23.63-mgd allocation
  • Scope: Permitting
  • Duration: 6 months

Project Components

  • Alternative Water Supply
  • Consumptive Use Permit
  • Groundwater modeling
  • Population and water demand
  • Environmental Impact Assessment

Key Benefits

  • Successful acquisition of 30-year CUP
  • Operation flexibility
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