The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will further reduce the amount of water flowing from Lake Okeechobee beginning this weekend.
Starting Friday (July 15), the new target flow for the Caloosahatchee Estuary will be a seven-day average of 2,800 cubic feet per second (cfs) as measured at W.P. Franklin Lock (S-79) near Fort Myers. The new target flow for the St. Lucie Estuary will be a seven-day average of 650 cfs as measured at St. Lucie Lock (S-80) near Stuart. Additional runoff from rain in the Caloosahatchee or the St. Lucie basins could occasionally result in flows that exceed targets.
“As a result of water releases, drier conditions and decreased inflows, the lake level has started to recede,” said Col. Jason Kirk, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District Commander. "Although the lake is still high for this time of year, current conditions are providing us with the opportunity to further reduce discharges and bring some degree of relief to the estuaries experiencing above normal seasonal algal blooms."
Additional water continues to be stored in the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes by the South Florida Water Management District, helping to reduce the inflows into the lake. The additional storage, coupled with a reduction in rainfall and increase in evapotranspiration are all contributing factors into the Corps being able to reduce discharges from the lake, in accordance with the 2008 Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS).
Today, the lake stage is 14.73 feet, almost one-quarter of a foot lower than it was last week. The Corps will continue to monitor conditions and adjust flows as necessary.
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. 16-055