Water-Related News

$600M reservoir could hurt rather than help, scientists say


Top water quality scientists says the reservoir will turn into a massive algal bloom

It was supposed to help our river and estuaries but could end up hurting them with toxic algae.

And now some scientists say the $600 million C-43 project to store water for dry season could be a waste of money because it won’t clean water and the dirty water it stores could grow far worse as it festers under the Florida sun in shallow pools.

Also, some scientists worry that releasing that water into the river could violate the Clean Water Act standards, which basically say it's illegal to move pollution from one property or water body to another. And U.S. Rep Curt Clawson, R-Bonita Springs, who recently waded in with a new water bill, says spending money on water storage isn't necessarily bad, but doesn't address the key problem: dirty water.

The Caloosahatchee reservoir will take another decade to complete, according to the South Florida Water Management District. But one of the world's top water quality scientists says the reservoir will turn into a massive algal bloom that could become more of a hindrance than a help.

"I can predict 100 percent that that’s going to happen," said William Mitsch, a Florida Gulf Coast University professor and world-renowned marine scientist. "You’re talking about the same water Lake Okeechobee has released, and you’re going to put it in a shallow basin. With shallow lakes, with all the nutrients we have in the water, it’s not a good idea."