It has been a relatively dry summer in this part of Florida until recently.
Flows in the Peace River between Bartow and Arcadia had been anemic, running at a quarter to a half of what is normal for that time of year.
As noted in an earlier post, all it would take would be sustained rainfall to turn things around.
September rainfall, fueled by a system that is bringing moisture in from the West Indies, has changed that.
Now river flows in the Upper Peace River Basin are running more than twice the long-term average. Downstream the flows are slightly above average, which means there will be adequate freshwater flow to the Charlotte Harbor estuary.
The rainfall may also augment flow in the Kissimmee River as it flows toward Lake Okeechobee, whose water level was a subject of concern recently.
Meanwhile, this is the perfect time to promote an event that offers plenty of opportunities to learn about the river systems that originate in Polk and influence the environment downstream.
That would be the eighth annual Seven Rivers Water Festival, which will be held Saturday in downtown Winter Haven.
It will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Exhibitors will include the Coastal and Heartland National Estuary Partnership, Polk Forever, Polk County Utilities, Polk County Parks and Natural Resources Stormwater Pollution, Lakeland Utilities, Winter Haven Water Department and more.
In case you’re wondering about the event’s title. The seven rivers that form in Polk are the Peace, Alafia, Kissimmee, Ocklawaha, Withlacoochee, Hillsborough and Little Manatee.