Regional Workshop on Saltwater Intrusion Modeling & Implications of Sea Level Rise: July 23-24, 2014, South Florida Water Management District

On July 23-24, 2014, at the Auditorium of the South Florida Water Management District, a workshop was organized by the South Florida Water Management District on Saltwater Intrusion Modeling & Implications of Sea Level Rise. More than 50 participants attended, including representatives from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties, the United States Geological Survey, United States Army, Corps of Engineers and National Park Service, local municipalities, water supply utilities, private consultants, universities, and concerned citizens. Experts on salt water intrusion modeling from DELTARES, The Netherlands, viz. Gualbert Oude Essink and Jarno Verkaik via WebEx, also attended.

The primary objective of the workshop was to coordinate regional modeling and monitoring efforts by local and regional agencies to address saltwater intrusion due to future sea level rise and to identify gaps. The workshop focused on the current monitoring efforts and the use of mathematical models to simulate saltwater intrusion in groundwater and surface water systems, with emphasis on current conditions in South Florida and potential future impacts of se level rise.  In addition, presentations described experience dealing with land subsidence, sea level rise saltwater intrusion problems in The Netherlands and other coastal regions worldwide. Of additional concern is the risk that salt water intrusion and rising sea levels pose to existing infrastructure and the need for improved research, monitoring, planning and design methods and tools to deal with these challenges now and in the future.