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Corps of Engineers continues Lake O releases to benefit Caloosahatchee Estuary

By Staff | Dec 3, 2010

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District is continuing water releases from Lake Okeechobee with a new pulse release that began today, Dec. 3, at 7 a.m. This release will continue for seven days.

The target flow of this release is an average flow of 450 cubic feet per second (cfs) over the seven-day period to the Caloosahatchee Estuary, measured at W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam (S-79).

The Corps will make this release in a pulse-like manner to mimic basin response to a rainfall event. Water managers expect this to help push back saltwater intrusion, which will have other associated benefits to the estuary. The Corps and partner agencies will continue to closely monitor and assess system conditions, and may decrease releases if local basin runoff contributes to flows.

Today, the lake stage is 12.91 feet (NGVD) and continues to recede. The lake is within the Operational Band of the 2008 Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (2008 LORS). More specifically, the lake level is currently in the Base Flow Sub-Band and the Corps may make releases up to 450 cfs and 200 cfs to the Caloosahatchee and St Lucie, respectively.

In addition, the 2008 LORS allows these releases to be distributed east and/or

west to minimize impacts or provide additional benefits.

For more information on water level and flows data for Lake Okeechobee and the Central and Southern Florida Project, visit the Corps’ water management page at www.saj.usace.army.mil/Divisions/Engineering/Branches/WaterResources/WaterMgt/index.htm.