Water-Related News

Independent scientific study to consider lake schedule

The University of Florida Water Institute Team is conducting an independent scientific review to inform development of the new Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule.

At their Jan. 10 meeting, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) board members approved a contract with the University of Florida Water Institute to conduct an independent scientific review to help inform the development of the next Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule.

The UFWI has convened an interdisciplinary academic review team that will:

(1) acquire and synthesize existing scientific information related to the impacts of the Lake Okeechobee regulation schedule on the ecology of Lake Okeechobee and the estuaries that receive lake discharges;

(2) identify knowledge gaps and additional data needed to assess the ecological impacts and tradeoffs of proposed changes to LORS; and,

(3) develop recommendations and priorities for new efforts needed to fill gaps in existing knowledge. In particular the team will focus on effects of lake stage on the ecology of Lake Okeechobee, effects of lake discharge on estuarine conditions, and how climate change, climate variability and sea level rise could impact tradeoffs between the health of the lake, estuaries, Everglades, as well as the provision of flood control and water supply.