The total annual flow is, of course, only one aspect of the data. The distribution of flow between the wet and dry seasons (shown in the Figure 3 graphs) may be important as well. In addition, the simulated averages do not reflect annual variability in discharges; this must be accounted for when analyzing the full 31-year output from the SFWMM and its ultimate interface with Florida Bay modeling. Finally, changes to rainfall-based water management practices that occurred between the mid-1980s and 1995 resulted in increasing the amount of freshwater flow into eastern Florida Bay, relative to rainfall, at least since 1993 (Sklar et al., 2002). The 1995 base is a simulation for the present period since those changes occurred; it does not represent conditions of the preceding decades, which are less well known.
Overall, however, total fresh surface-water inflows to Florida Bay via Craighead Basin and Taylor Slough are predicted to be about the same with CERP as under current conditions. If these predictions are correct, the salinity of this region of the Bay may not change materially. The lack of an operational hydrodynamic model (Chapter 3) increases the uncertainty of such predictions.
In contrast to these minor proposed changes to flows in Craighead Basin and Taylor Slough, the CERP plans a dramatic increase in flow down Shark River Slough relative to the current condition (Figure 4). This is significant, because recent measurements strongly suggest that some of this flow eventually will reach the inner parts of Florida Bay. A detailed review by Smith and Pitts (2002)