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Summer Water Worries: June Rains Spur Back Pumping to Lake O

Photo: South Florida Water Management District

Florida's rainy summer season began with a sopping wet June, which saw nearly twice the amount of rainfallacross South Florida compared to past years. The heavy rain caused water emergencies in some areas of South Florida that saw as much as 200 percent of their average rainfall. Now the South Florida Water Management District is back pumping into Lake Okeechobee amid a flurry of efforts to control the water across the region.

The heavy rains put wildlife at risk and threatened to damage plants considered critical for the Everglades ecosystem. That saw state wildlife managers close some areas to recreation in the name of protecting wildlife and reducing water levels. 

Randy Smith with the South Florida Water Management District joins Gulf Coast Live to discuss what actions the district has undertaken so far this summer to control the deluge of rain after months of drought-like conditions, as well as the ongoing management of South Florida's ever-present water concerns.

Also joining the program is Pete Quasius, the advocacy director for the Audubon of Western Everglades, to discuss the impacts to Southwest Florida and the ongoing projects underway addressing water quality and quantity in Southwest Florida.

Matthew Smith is a reporter and producer of WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live.
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