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.