US Army Corps of Engineers
Jacksonville District

Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) (O&M)

March 2019

FACT SHEET

Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) (O&M)

Operations & Maintenance (O&M)

Congressional Districts: 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25

 

1. DESCRIPTION

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is re-evaluating Lake Okeechobee operations to coincide with the completion of Herbert Hoover Dike (HHD) rehabilitation in 2022. This study will re-examine the opportunities to balance the project purposes for flood control, water supply, recreation, navigation, environmental effects to fish and wildlife, and cultural and recreational resources. The result will be the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM). The LOSOM study will also consider the future Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) infrastructure that will provide additional flexibility for lake operation.

Section 1106 of the 2018 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) states, “The Secretary shall expedite completion of the Lake Okeechobee regulation schedule to coincide with completion of the Herbert Hoover Dike project, and may include all relevant aspects of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan described in section 601 of the Water Resources Development Act of 2000 (114 Stat. 2680).”

The result of the LOSOM effort will be a new system operating manual (SOM) for Lake Okeechobee and the accompanying National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation. Incremental regulation schedules will be developed to account for future infrastructure construction. Each increment will have NEPA documentation to allow for immediate implementation when the infrastructure is available.

 

2. FUNDING

Allocation for FY19 $1,000,000
President’s Budget FY20 $1,000,000
 

3. SPONSOR

South Florida Water Management District
3301 Gun Club Road
West Palm Beach, Florida  33406

 

4. STATUS

LOSOM began engaging stakeholders influenced by lake operations via ten (10) NEPA scoping meetings conducted throughout February and March 2019 around Lake Okeechobee and on both coasts. Stakeholder feedback will inform priorities and scope of the new operational plan. Beginning in May 2019, planned workshops will allow stakeholder education and specific stakeholder input in developing performance metrics and initial alternatives. The alternative development and evaluation process will begin in FY20. The Record of Decision (ROD) for the new SOM is scheduled for December 2022.

 

Map shows the area affected by the Lake Okeechobee regulation schedule. It includes the Kissimmee River Basin and watershed, the Northern Estuaries, Lake Okeechobee, the Everglades Agricultural Area, the greater Everglades, the Atlantic coast from Stuart to Homestead, and the Florida Keys.