Progress toward improving water quality in Southwest Florida thanks to the teamwork of the Army Corps of Engineers and South Florida Water Management, breaking ground Wednesday on a new reservoir.
A mountain of granite will shortly make up the EAA Resovoir.
WINK News discussed the project with the South Florida Water Management District Vice Chair, Scott Wagner.
“This is a reservoir as big as Manahatten,” Wagner said.
Working to create the reservoir. CREDIT: WINK News
The biggest resovoir in all of the Everglades restoration projects and another place for the water in Lake Okeechobee to go.
“The problem is when we hold water in the lake, and it gets too high traditionally, we really only have two exits, one to the east to st.lucie and one to the west to the Caloosahatchee, and those estuaries have been particularly vulnerable,” Wagner said.
Vulnerable to algal blooms, but once complete around 2030, the reservoir will relieve discharges East and West and send more water South aiding the Everglades.
“We can capture it, we can clean it, and then we can convey it South,” Wagner said.
A reservoir to improve the Everglades water. CREDIT: WINK News
Split between the Army Corps of Engineers and South Florida Water Management District, the reservoir and neighboring storm water treatment area cost around $4,000,000,000. And that is a hefty price that will hopefully bring about hefty benefits all around Lake Okeechobee.
The reservoir will be South of Lake Okeechobee and store 78,000,000,000 gallons of water. That is enough to fill 118,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
It’s expected to lower water levels in the lake bou about half of a foot.