Cape Coral seeks state funding for Reservoir Pipeline Project
State Rep. Dane Eagle has filed an appropriations bill requesting $1,115,000 in state funds for the City of Cape Coral to engineer, design and permit a 3.5-mile pipeline from Southwest Aggregates Mining reservoir in south Charlotte County to Gator Slough in northeast Cape Coral.
The pipeline would provide an additional freshwater supply for the City's canal system that provides irrigation and fire protection in Cape Coral.
"Our freshwater canal system provides the majority of irrigation water for our residents during the dry season," said Utilities Director Jeff Pearson in a prepared statement released Tuesday. "As demand increases, the City needs to continue developing additional sources of water, and the reservoir could be a reliable long-term option for our community."
Last year, the City conducted a pilot test on the reservoir when severe drought conditions were depleting the City's freshwater canal system. The city worked with the South Florida Water Management District, Southwest Florida Water Management District, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Department of Transportation to acquire the necessary permits to allow the city to pump water from the reservoir to replenish the city's freshwater canals. Water from the reservoir property flowed into drainage ditches along U.S. 41 and into the Gator Slough canal system.
The pipeline project has the potential to provide an additional benefit to the Charlotte Harbor Flatwoods Initiative area and will reduce flooding in the Cecil M. Webb Wildlife Management Area, city officials said.
If funding is approved, the design would take about 18 months to complete. Construction of the pipeline could cost about $8 million and take up to two years to finish.