High Water Conditions in Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is discharging water from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Estuaries, and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) is taking every opportunity to help shorten the duration of these harmful discharges to the northern estuaries. SFWMD is working hard to reduce the amount of water flowing into Lake Okeechobee (“inflows”). Highly flooded water conservation areas can no longer receive water from Lake Okeechobee (“outflows”) south.
Current Operations (Updated Nov. 24, 2020) The data below are for Nov. 23, and the flow data are based on daily averages.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is discharging a weekly average of 4,000 cfs west to the Caloosahatchee Estuary from S-77 and a weekly average of 1,800 cfs east to the St. Lucie Estuary from S-80, as weather conditions and other factors allow. These discharges are intended to slow the rate of water level rise in Lake Okeechobee. To view the Lake Okeechobee Net Flows, click here.
Total Inflows: 3,770 cfs (2.4 billion gallons a day)
Inflows represent the amount of water entering Lake Okeechobee. Inflows may vary based on weather conditions and other factors.
- Surface Water Inflows: 3,770 cfs (2.4 billion gallons a day)
- Rainfall: 0 cfs
Total Outflows: 7,000 cfs (4.5 billion gallons a day)
Outflows represent the amount of water leaving Lake Okeechobee. Outflows may vary based on capacity, weather conditions, and other factors.
Outflow East/West - Controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- S-308 flows: 1,580 cfs (1 billion gallons a day)
- S-77 flows: 4,100 cfs (2.7 billion gallons a day)
- S-351: 160 cfs (100 million gallons a day)
- S-352: 90 cfs (60 million gallons a day)
Evapotranspiration: 1,070 cfs (690 million gallons a day)
Net Outflow: 3,230 cfs (2.1 billion gallons a day)
A net outflow means that more water is leaving the lake than entering it.
Lake Okeechobee Level - Daily Change
0.03' decrease in lake level.
Tropical Storm Eta Helped Cause Water Conditions in Central Everglades
South Florida experienced significant amounts of rainfall during the annual “wet season,” including from Tropical Storm Eta. SFWMD is working to balance the water levels across South Florida and continue to deliver on its mission to protect water resources, provide flood protection and meet the region’s water needs.
Preventing Water from Entering Lake Okeechobee from the North
SFWMD is reducing flows from Lake Kissimmee to the Kissimmee River. Operational changes include dynamically operating canals at higher levels, near the top of their operating ranges, to hold back water; using Brighton Valley and West Water Hole Dispersed Water Management Project in Highlands County; and encouraging drainage system operators that discharge into SFWMD’s system to hold back water. Storing and reducing the flow of water helps better manage water levels in Lake Okeechobee.
Capturing Discharges of Lake Okeechobee Water to the Northern Estuaries
We are working to capture water discharged from Lake Okeechobee to the northern estuaries. We are maximizing all available Dispersed Water Management Projects including:
- Caulkins Dispersed Water Management in Martin County
- Nicodemus Slough Dispersed Water Management Project in Glades County
- BOMA Above Ground Impoundments in Glades County
Current Lake Okeechobee Conditions
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers updates the current Lake Okeechobee water level report daily.
There are currently no reported algal blooms near the discharge structures on Lake Okeechobee. Algae is reported in the center of Lake Okeechobee. Photo taken October 11, 2020 in the center of Lake Okeechobee by SFWMD Governing Board Member Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch.
To view the latest Cyanobacteria Algal Bloom Satellite imagery from NOAA, click here.
Why Does Lake Okeechobee Have Discharges?
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers manages Lake Okeechobee water levels for five purposes: flood control, water supply, navigation, recreation and the preservation of fish and wildlife resources. At times, releases of water called “discharges” from Lake Okeechobee are required to manage the lake’s water levels and balance these five purposes. The South Florida Water Management District also manages water management infrastructure like gates and locks along Lake Okeechobee that can help manage lake levels.
How is Water Managed in South Florida?
South Florida Water Management District works with federal, state, and local agencies to manage our region’s water resources. Everglades restoration projects coupled with smart management help protect our water resources and improve how the water flows in the southern portion of the state with benefits for people and the environment. Learn more in this video below.
All data provided on this page are provisional and subject to quality assurance and quality control review. Unless otherwise noted, data are for the previous day and flow data are based on daily averages.