Water Management

B A Bowen Photography

Residents of the Glades have a message for Tallahassee lawmakers: The proposed construction of a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee would be a death knell for their communities.

Army Corps Reverses Field, Says Reservoir Must Wait

Mar 15, 2017

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is reversing its stance and now says it must follow a schedule calling for a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee in 2021.

U.S. Sugar Corp. says it would honor a previous agreement putting land south of Lake Okeechobee toward Everglades restoration.

U.S. Sugar staunchly has opposed a reservoir on the land, aimed at improving water flow after toxic algae blooms last year prompted emergency declarations in four counties.

But spokeswoman Judy Sanchez says if the Legislature approves the plan the company would honor a previous agreement authorizing the state to buy 153,000 acres.

A controversial plan to speed construction of a 60,000-acre reservoir on farmland south of Lake Okeechobee --- to reduce the risk of more "guacamole-thick" water appearing in Treasure Coast communities --- was expanded Wednesday to include water projects in other parts of the state.

And the measure (SB 10), now called the "Coast-to-Coast Comprehensive Water Resource Program," might not be done growing, its sponsor said.

A quarter century after the state promised to clean up polluted farm water fouling the Everglades in a historic federal court order, water managers say its time to end the judicial oversight.

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