Backpumping into Lake Okeechobee
Backpumping Fact Sheet prepared by SCCF and Florida environmental groups
University of Florida/IFAS Extension paper on the role of Nitrogen and Phosphorus in aquatic ecosystems
Letter to SFWMD Governing Board on August 7, 2012 from SCCF and Florida environmental groups
News-Press story on backpumping, August 8, 2012
Public Comments at August 2, 2012 WRAC meeting by SCCF; sign-on letter by SCCF and Florida environmental groups
July 30, 2012 SCCF Letter to Lee County BOCC
ABC-7 story about backpumping on July 30, 2012
July 27, 2012, Island Reporter: Story by Editor Jim Linnette; Guest Opinion by Rae Ann Wessel
July 8, 2012 News-Press Guest Opinion by Tom Van Lent, Senior Scientist with the Everglades Foundation
Adaptive Protocols (AP) for Lake Okeechobee Operations -- July-August 2012 Member Update
The AP were developed to help SFWMD staff and Governing Board make decisions about where and how much water to deliver, particularly during droughts and the dry season. The current protocols were adopted by the Board in September 2010 over the objections of west coast stakeholders and Audubon’s Lake Okeechobee scientist. We objected because the AP singled out the Caloosahatchee to be cut off while no other users were even restricted and cut off even when there was virtually no chance of water shortage, like this past spring.
Dan DeLisi, the west coast Governing Board representative, has highlighted this issue and has worked with staff and stakeholders to find solutions. At this month’s WRAC (Water Resources Advisory Commission) and Governing Board meetings the district revealed their preferred plan called “Water Supply Augmentation” that would back-pump water from the EAA into Lake O to supply, on average, 70,000 acre-feet of water for dry season flows to the Caloosahatchee.
WSA or water supply backpumping
involves taking excess, nutrient-polluted water off the EAA fields and pumping it back into the Lake. We are working with staff to investigate an alternate scenario that would not require back-pumping. This issue will come before the Governing Board on August 9 for a decision. We are working with stakeholders from across the system to find a comprehensive solution.
Backpumping has been an issue for years. Click here
for some history and prior work by SCCF on this issue.