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Water bodies, watersheds and storm water

Keystone Heights area lakes

The Keystone Heights area lakes in southwestern Clay County have fluctuated widely up and down over many decades. Periods of low water levels in the lakes are largely caused by reduced rainfall over many years, even decades. Water withdrawals from groundwater sources also affect lake levels. In this area, the karst terrain of limestone and sandy lake bottoms allows water to naturally seep from the lakes downward into the aquifer system. Some lakes in the area have active sinkholes that drain water into the aquifer.

The Keystone Heights area lakes are located on a high sand ridge in southwestern Clay County. The lakes were created when a layer of limestone collapsed, creating sinkholes that connect to the Upper Floridan aquifer. This karst terrain is a natural geologic feature and is a contributing factor to the fluctuation in lake levels that have occurred over many decades.

Keystone Heights area lakes receive water from local stormwater runoff, inflow from upstream lakes, and groundwater infiltration from the surficial aquifer system. The Keystone Heights lakes lose water primarily through evaporation and seepage into the Upper Floridan aquifer.

Current Efforts

Location of Keystone Heights Area Lakes

The St. Johns River Water Management District is involved in numerous initiatives in north Florida

The district’s work includes:

  • Re-evaluating minimum flows and levels (MFLs) to ensure that the established thresholds reflect current understanding of the structure and function of the Etonia Chain of Lakes. MFLs are one tool that the district uses to quantify protection and restoration goals for lakes, rivers, and springs and guide project implementation.
  • Implementing projects to protect and maintain regional aquifer levels by expanding the use of reclaimed water and stormwater reuse.
  • Partnering with the Suwannee River Water Management District, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, north Florida local governments and other stakeholders to ensure sustainable water supplies and protection of north Florida’s waterways and natural systems. The North Florida Regional Water Supply Partnership meets on a regular basis to provide recommendations to the districts regarding the North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan that encompasses counties in both water management districts.

Lake Geneva is one of the lakes in the Keystone Heights area.


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St. Johns River Water Management District
4049 Reid Street, Palatka, FL 32177
(800) 725-5922