Water-Related News

SFWMD considers $46 million water storage proposals

Emergency measures to keep polluted water out of coastal estuaries this rainy season could be followed by much larger and much more expensive projects next year.

The South Florida Water Management District is reviewing proposals from six large-tract landowners to pull water out of canals that otherwise would flow into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers, which would cost $45.5 million of the $47.8 million the 2016 Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott approved for more water storage projects.

Too much nutrient-laden freshwater in those two estuaries can feed algae blooms like the ones both rivers experienced this summer.

Approved projects could start holding back water during the 2017 summer rainy season, district spokesman Randy Smith said.v

The district would cover construction costs and pay landowners annual "rent," which would have to be negotiated and approved by the Legislature each year.