The Concession Permitting

The Concession Consumptive Water Use Permitting

Sarasota County, Florida

The Concession is a state of the art golf course located in Sarasota County, Florida built in 2005.  In order to develop the golf course the developers had to obtain water supplies in a region of southwest Florida with extreme competition for water resources.


The Concession is located in the Southern Water Use Caution Area (SWUCA) now termed a (Priority Water Resource Caution Area) of the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD).  The SWUCA is an area with a long history of significant groundwater usage, principally for agriculture and mining.  The SWUCA coincides with a regional groundwater basin termed the Southern Groundwater Basin of the SWFWMD.  Groundwater withdrawals from this basin have caused significant (more than fifty feet) reduction in the potentiometric surface.  The SWFWMD has determined that the lowering of the potentiometric surface has caused salt-water intrusion on the western coastal edge of the region, impacts to lakes on the eastern edge of the basin, and significant flow reduction in Peace River flows.  SWFWMD established minimum aquifer levels, minimum lake levels, and minimum flows for the Peace River to alleviate these impacts to the water resource.


Additionally, The Concession site abuts a City of Sarasota well field.  This well field was constructed in the 1960’s.  The well-field wells withdraw water from the shallowest part of the Upper Floridan Aquifer and thus have very short casing depths.  During the 1990’s, impacts to the shallow cased City wells was litigated through a series of administrative hearings, the result of which is a SWFWMD policy that does not allow any additional drawdown at the City wells.  In order to obtain a water use permit for the Concession, the SWFWMD required reasonable assurance that the new withdrawals for the golf course would not cause impacts to any minimum flows or levels and would not cause drawdown at the adjacent City of Sarasota well field. Water Resource Associates developed a model application using the MODFLOW numerical model to be used to provide that assurance.  Using the model, WRA successfully investigated alternative well construction for The Concession’s well and acquisition and transfer of an existing agricultural permit to provide the reasonable assurance and to obtain the permit. Without such a transfer and modeling of potential impacts, the SWFWMD was in a position to deny the application. The permitted quantity was 0.60MGD issued in 2005.



Project Components

  • Groundwater Modeling
  • Alternative Well Field Construction Assessment
  • Acquisition and Transfer of Existing Water Use Permit Quantities