Monday, July 23, 2018

SFWMD: Mitigating high water emergency, sending more water east to tide and south to Everglades.

Where are you getting your news about the all-important topic of water levels in Palm Beach County? From TV news reporters? Newspapers? Too many of them are up in the Treasure Coast trying to chase down reports of a possible blue-green algae bloom and hoping to interview someone they haven’t interviewed five times before.

So instead get your news straight from the source: the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD).* To follow the District on Twitter click on this link.

Here is an excerpt from the latest press release datelined July 19th:

West Palm Beach, FL — The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) has been working around the clock to lower water levels in the conservation areas and create capacity for sending more Lake Okeechobee water south. By installing additional temporary pumps and taking other operational actions, the District is doing its part to mitigate the high water emergency caused by record May rainfall.

SFWMD Hydrology and Hydraulics Bureau Chief Akin Owosina gave an update on the District’s operations through the agency's weekly video series dedicated to informing the public on current water conditions and the agency's actions amid the high water emergency.
[The video of Bureau Chief Akin Owosina being interviewed by SFWMD spokesman Randy Smith is below. For the District’s website dedicated to the emergency situation click on this link.]

The record rainfall in May caused Lake Okeechobee to rise more than a foot, which led the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to begin releases from the lake on June 1 to the northern estuaries. At the same time, this record rainfall inundated the water conservation areas, causing them to rise considerably above their regulation schedules. To combat this, SFWMD is taking every action within its authority to lower water levels, including storing water on public and private lands, utilizing every available structure and installing temporary pumps to move additional water.

SFWMD this week installed a third 42-inch temporary pump in addition to the two that were previously installed and pumping water from Water Conservation Area 2A in Broward County into Water Conservation Area 1 in Palm Beach County to be discharged to tide through the Hillsboro Canal.

Use this link to read the entire press release.

*The South Florida Water Management District is a regional governmental agency that manages the water resources in the southern part of the state. It is the oldest and largest of the state’s five water management districts. Our mission is to protect South Florida’s water resources by balancing and improving flood control, water supply, water quality and natural systems.