JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (April 2, 2012) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District has announced it will suspend additional releases of water from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee River, due to falling lake levels and dry conditions.
The Corps has conducted a series of pulse releases since the middle of December in an attempt to offset the rising salt-water content, or salinity, in the Caloosahatchee Estuary. Now, with the lake level dropping below 12.6 feet, and dry conditions in the forecast, the Corps is suspending the water releases under provisions outlined in the 2008 Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (2008 LORS).
“The Corps strives to maintain the lake between 12.5 and 15.5 feet, while balancing all competing demands,” said John Kilpatrick, chief of Jacksonville District’s Multi-Projects Branch, which has oversight of water management at the lake. “Because the tributary hydrologic condition indicator is currently classified as dry, the South Florida Water Management District’s adaptive protocols suggest no releases this week.”
Today, the lake stage is 12.32 feet. While the lake is currently within the Beneficial Use Sub-Band of the 2008 LORS, it is only 0.64 feet above the water shortage management level. The Corps and partner agencies will continue to closely monitor and assess system conditions.
Release no. 12-027