November 8, 2017
West Palm Beach, FL - The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) released preliminary modeling Monday that depicts South Florida's current water storage and conveyance capabilities. This baseline modeling is the necessary first step in quantifying which alternative storage feature configuration south of Lake Okeechobee offers the greatest benefit to reducing harmful lake discharges to estuaries east and west. The most logical configuration will ultimately become the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Storage Reservoir Project.
This baseline modeling, which factors in 41 years of weather events ranging from drought to extreme rainfall, is part of the extensive ongoing public review process for the EAA Storage Reservoir Project. The project began as Senate Bill 10. Earlier this year, the bill was authorized by the Legislature through Senate President Joe Negron and signed by Gov. Rick Scott.
"We have been moving swiftly, but methodically, to make this project a reality following the scientific process," said SFWMD Federal Policy and Coordination Bureau Chief Matt Morrison. "The next key step is to establish the baseline performance of all other projects currently being built. This will help us better determine the benefits that proposed project alternatives for the EAA Reservoir project will add to the baseline. This modeling is the 'foundation' for evaluating all Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan projects."
The baseline modeling assumes the completion of other approved restoration projects now underway, such as the C-44 and C-43 reservoirs and the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP). The modeling shows these projects would likely reduce the number of months with potentially damaging releases to the St. Lucie Estuary by 50 percent and the number of months of damaging releases to the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary by 30 percent. Once complete, the EAA Reservoir project would add to the overall reduction numbers for both estuaries.
For the modeling data and more information on the meetings, including agendas and presentations, visit www.sfwmd.gov/eaareservoir.
To learn more about SFWMD's ongoing planning projects that are part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, visit www.sfwmd.gov/cerpplanning