Water-Related News

Highlands County reservoir to store water north of Lake O

WEST PALM BEACH – Plans for a reservoir in Highlands County were well received by many at the Aug. 17 meeting of the South Florida Water Management (SFWMD) Governing Board.

The Lake Okeechobee Component A Reservoir (LOCAR) will store up to 200,000 acre feet of water. Water managers hope to have the Environmental Assessment and Environmental Impact Statement completed in time for the project to be considered in the 2024 federal Water Resources Development Act (WRDA).

Jennifer Leeds, of SFWMD, said while SFWMD will take the lead on the project, it will be designed to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers design standards for safety. It will be designed to capture major storm events and to withstand hurricane force winds.

Storing water north of the lake will help keep Lake O from rising above the level that damages the lake's ecology. It will also provide water supply to the lake in times of drought.