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current version of the PMPs, we've attempted to strike the appropriate balance between permitting/designing/ constructing/testing functional ASR systems, and answering regional questions. We think we've achieved that daunting task with our current plan, though the proposed Regional Study will now result in additional funds to conduct regional investigations.
Two underlying themes emerged from our participation in the ASR Issue Team not documented in their report. First, locating all ASR wells in one geographic location (e.g., the west side of Lake Okeechobee) does not answer a fundamental question; that is, does ASR work in geographically dispersed areas around the Lake. The corollary is, it would be difficult to recommend the next phase of ASR implementation (e.g., a 30-well system) in a geographic area that doesn't have a pilot facility in place and successfully operating.
The second theme was, “We know that single-well systems work, we want to know how multiple wells interact with each other.” This begins to answer the question, “What is the optimum spacing between ASR wells so that coalesced “bubbles” of freshwater result in an underground reservoir of fresh water.”
These three paragraphs are a long-winded justification for six (6) ASR wells, three in geographically dispersed locations and three at an individual ASR “cluster” for the Lake Okeechobee ASR system. Budgetary constraints may force us into a 5-well system for this site, requiring that two wells be located at one of the 3 sites to form the cluster in that fashion. For Western Hillsboro, where the site is defined, only the cluster question need be answered, and it is proposed with a 3-well system, one of which has already been constructed via an existing SFWMD research contract.