Water-Related News

Caloosahatchee reservoir sprouting at last

An Everglades project aimed at helping the ailing Caloosahatchee River is taking shape just east of the Lee and Hendry County line despite a lack of federal funds.

Called the Caloosahatchee reservoir, or C-43, the $500 million reservoir is designed to hold about 55 billion gallons of stormwater runoff.

"It's being built exclusively for health and benefit of the estuary. Not only do we get too much water from Lake Okeechobee from time to time, but during the rainy season we get too much water coming into the watershed," said Phil Flood, spokesman for the South Florida Water Management District. "During the summertime it's too fresh and it damages the ecology."

Then the weather coin flips.

"And during the dry season there's not enough water coming in because we've ditched and drained the system and changed the water table throughout the watershed and as a result it's too salty during the dry season," Flood continued while giving The News-Press a tour of the reservoir site recently.

This reservoir has been part of the Everglades restoration plan for about two decades but has been delayed due to a lack of funding.