Once it’s completed, the massive Caloosahatchee River West Basin Storage, or C-43 reservoir, near Alva will hold about 55 billion gallons of water captured from the river and local runoff. The idea is to both reduce the amount of water released from Lake Okeechobee that makes it to the estuary during the wet season and to store water to be released during dry season to help maintain ideal salinity in the estuary. But, there is no formal plan for a water quality element to ensure the water it holds is clean enough to be released.
There’s going to be a Water Quality Summit exploring ways to keep water in it clean this Wednesday in Fort Myers. Joining Gulf Coast Live is Jennifer Hecker, the executive director of the Coastal & Heartland National Estuary Partnership; Phil Flood, a regional representative for the South Florida Water Management District; and Dr. Bob Knight, the principal scientist at the environmental consulting firm Wetland Solutions in Gainesville.