February 2, 2017

Lake Okeechobee Watershed Planning Project Information Presented at Water Resources Advisory Commission
Project alternatives satisfy University of Florida Water Institute Study for water storage north of Lake Okeechobee

West Palm Beach, FL - Engineers and hydrologists at the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) presented a significant report outlining a combination of water storage technologies north of Lake Okeechobee at the Water Resources Advisory Commission (WRAC) meeting today. The results were generated by the collaborative work of state and federal scientists and engineers during the ongoing Lake Okeechobee Watershed Planning Project (LOWP). Additionally, these results can achieve the storage capacity goals north of Lake Okeechobee recommended by the 2015 University of Florida Water Institute Study and provide the flexibility needed to help protect South Florida's coastal estuaries.

"I appreciate this presentation today, as well as the outstanding research of our engineers and hydrologists," said WRAC Chairman Jim Moran. "Multi-faceted storage north of Lake Okeechobee provides a cost-effective, flexible strategy to meet environmental and water supply goals in South Florida."
 
Today's WRAC meeting was the first presentation of LOWP findings that detailed storage and cost information north of Lake Okeechobee. The WRAC is an advisory body to the SFWMD Governing Board and the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force. It is a forum for improving public participation and decision-making about water resource issues in the District.

 

The Lake Okeechobee Watershed Planning Project costs and storage results are based on a combination of reservoir storage and Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) and Deep Injection Wells (DIW). Additionally, the presentation illustrates potential combination options for achieving cost effective storage north of Lake Okeechobee.
 

Click here to see a comparison of the benefits of regional water storage.


Background
The Lake Okeechobee Watershed Planning Project, which began in July 2016, is a planning effort to improve the quality, quantity, timing and distribution of water entering Lake Okeechobee. Goals of the project include:
  • Identifying potential storage and water quality opportunities north of Lake Okeechobee;
  • Providing better management of Lake Okeechobee's water level;
  • Reducing high-volume discharges to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries;
  • Improving system-wide operational flexibility.

The Lake Okeechobee Watershed Planning Project is a part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). SFWMD and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers staff the planning team. The planning process is conducted in public with wide participation by interested parties. The LOWP is also a component of the Integrated Delivery Schedule (IDS) that helps guide project design and implementation of Everglades restoration.



Media Contact: 
Randy Smith  |   rrsmith@sfwmd.gov    |  Office: 561-682-2800  |  Cell: 561-389-3386
The South Florida Water Management District is a regional governmental agency that manages the water resources in the southern part of the state. It is the oldest and largest of the state's five water management districts. Our mission is to protect South Florida's water resources by balancing and improving flood control, water supply, water quality and natural systems.


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