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A Beginner's Guide to Water Management—The ABCs



In an ongoing quest to bridge the information gap between the scientific community and Florida's citizenry, LAKEWATCH is assembling a series of information circulars that provide a basic introduction to the terminology and concepts used in today's water management arena. The first of these, Circular 101 A Beginners Guide to Water Management -- The ABCs, is just what its name implies. Formatted as a glossary, it provides definitions, as well as additional information, for many of the terms that are used on a daily basis by professionals, but not always known to the lay audience. Enhanced with dozens of black and white photo illustrations, the circular is 39 pages in length and covers subjects such as algae, average plant biomass, limiting nutrients, potassium, trophic state and water quality -- to name a few. While Circular 101 was written for a general audience, it can certainly benefit anyone interested in lakes and lake management and become a valuable addition to one's library.

Note: Circular 101 is available in Portable Document Format (pdf) only. It can be obtained as a single PDF file by clicking on the "Printer Friendly Version" link above (file size = 1.3 MB).

Keywords: algae, algae bloom, algal biomass, alkalinity, aquatic macrophytes, aquatic plant, average plant biomass, bathymetric map, benthic, benthic algae, biological productivity, biomass, calcium, chloride, chlorophyll, common plant name, color, conductance, emergent plants, emergent plant biomass, eutrophic, fish kill, floating-leaved plants, floating-leaved plant biomass, frequency of occurrence, fresh plant weight, geologic region, groundwater, humic acids, hydraulic flushing rate, hypereutrophic, iron, lake region, limiting environmental factors, limiting nutrient, limnology, macrophyte, magnesium, mean depth, mesotrophic, morphometry, nitrogen, nutrients, oligotrophic, PAC, particulates, periphyton, pH, phosphorus, physiographic region, phytoplankton, planktonic algae, plant biomass, plant frequency, plant species, potassium, PVI, salinity, scientific plant name, Secchi depth, silica, sodium, specific conductance, submersed plants, submersed plant biomass, sulfates, surface water, total alkalinity, total chlorophyll, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, transparency, trophic state, trophic state index (TSI), water clarity, water depth, water quality, watershed, width of emergent and floating leaved zone, and recommended reading.

Publication #Cir101

Release Date:November 17, 2020

Reviewed At:October 25, 2022

Related Topics

  • Critical Issue: Natural Resources and Environment
Fact Sheet

About this Publication

This document is Cir101 (is the first of a series of information circulars dedicated to familiarizing citizens with the language and techniques used by those involved in water management within the state of Florida), one of a series of the Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. The second edition, published in September 2000. Visit the EDIS website at or the Florida LAKEWATCH website at

About the Authors

Florida LAKEWATCH is a research program coordinated within the UF/IFAS Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. LAKEWATCH facilitates public involvement in the management of Florida waters by training citizen volunteers to collect monthly water samples, algae samples, and water clarity information from a lake or waterbody of their choice.Over time, these data are used to document nutrient levels and to predict biological productivity. For more information about the monitoring program or to obtain LAKEWATCH data, call 1-800-LAKEWATCH (1-800-525-3928) or search the website at


  • Mark Hoyer