Looking For Everglades Northern Reservoir? Try The Lakes

I’ve been following the debate over whether to store water north of south of Lake Okeechobee with some interest.

It’s complicated because part of it involves trying to make sure the crappy water in Lake Okeechobee doesn’t foul the coastal estuaries again and the crappy water in the rest of the South Florida water management system doesn’t’ either let the Everglades die of thirst or salt water intrusion or upstream pollution.

If you want to deliver polluted water, canals are your guy. If you don’t, reservoirs are an alternative.

That is, you have to store and treat water somewhere what’s left of the system if you’re in touch with reality and realize it’s 2017 and not 1817.

My question is rather than fighting over the cost of building new reservoirs north of the lake or south of the lake, why not rethink using an existing Northern Reservoir of sorts. It’s called the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes.

The Everglades plan calls for 200,000 acre feet of storage, plus some additional land for treatment.

I did some back-of-the-envelope calculations and concluded you have about half of that in the major lakes in the chain as well as some connected wetland systems that are planned to be rehydrated anyway if you adjusted the regulated levels a bit.

This approach, which I’m sure has been figured somewhere into someone’s calculations, has the additional advantage of storing the water containing a lot of the upper basin’s pollution from sewer plants and stormwater runoff as well as the traditional agricultural manure and fertilizer contributions and legacy loads from past practices.

This isn’t everything that’s needed, but it seems to be quicker and lower tech and less contentious than some of the discussion that’s going on.

I’m just saying.

Posted in Group Conservation Issues.