With levels in Lake Okeechobee falling, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District has announced additional reductions in water releases over the next week.
The adjustment in discharges will take place tomorrow (April 17). The new target flow for the Caloosahatchee will be a seven-day average of 1,500 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured at W.P. Franklin Lock (S-79) near Fort Myers. The target flow for the St. Lucie Estuary is unchanged at a seven-day average of 0 cfs as measured at St. Lucie Lock & Dam (S-80) near Stuart. Flows at one or both locations could occasionally be exceeded by runoff from rain that accumulates in the Caloosahatchee or St. Lucie basins—those flows will be allowed to pass through the structures as necessary.
“We continue to see dry conditions south of the lake, which has resulted in increased demand for water,” said Jim Jeffords, Operations Division Chief for the Jacksonville District. “The lower flows will also help improve the saltwater-freshwater mix in the Caloosahatchee Estuary which is helpful for the environment.”
Today, the lake stage is 13.65 feet. It is currently in the Operational Low Sub-Band as defined by the 2008 Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS). Under current conditions, LORS authorizes the Corps to discharge up to 3,000 cfs to the Caloosahatchee and up to 1,170 cfs to the St. Lucie.
For more information on water level and flows data for Lake Okeechobee, visit the Corps’ water management website at http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/WaterManagement.aspx.
Release no. 15-045