March 15, 2019

SFWMD's New Governing Board Awards Contract to Build Caloosahatchee (C-43) West Basin Storage Reservoir
 10,500-acre reservoir will store 170,000 acre-feet of fresh water, helping to restore Caloosahatchee Estuary and protect west coast communities

West Palm Beach, FL - The South Florida Water Management District's (SFWMD) new Governing Board appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis awarded a $524 million contract at Thursday's monthly Governing Board meeting to build the Caloosahatchee (C-43) West Basin Storage Reservoir to store and deliver critical fresh water to the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary during the dry season.

"This is a major milestone and step forward for restoring and protecting the Caloosahatchee Estuary, as well as our west coast communities," said SFWMD Governing Board Chairman Chauncey Goss. "This reservoir will help protect the estuary from damaging Lake Okeechobee discharges during the wet season and ensure there is enough freshwater to meet the environmental needs of the estuary during the dry season."

SFWMD had previously awarded contracts to conduct work that included clearing the 10,500-acre site of the reservoir in Hendry County and building pump stations needed to operate the reservoir. This final contract awarded by the new Governing Board includes building approximately 19 miles of embankments, allowing the two-cell reservoir to hold 170,000 acre-feet of water at depths of 15-25 feet. The contractor will also build 15 miles of perimeter canals and 14 water control structures as well as recreational features on the site.

The C-43 Reservoir will capture and store runoff from the Caloosahatchee watershed and Lake Okeechobee releases during wet months. The reservoir will also provide a supply of fresh water that can be released to the estuary during drier periods to help balance salinity levels and protect plants and wildlife in the estuary.

The District is also partnering with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and local governments to evaluate water quality treatment options associated with the reservoir. A public process will be launched this year to conduct a feasibility study for identified options.
Media Contact: 
Randy Smith  |   [email protected]    |  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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