This 2005 map from the water districts shows where the water is located. Although it is now 2014, a map of today would show a similar situation, a feat of American engineering that unfortunately is to the detriment of the St Lucie and Caloosahatchee Estuaries.
The Everglades Agricultural Area south of Lake Okeechobee is allowed by law to pump the water off their lands into the STAs (Storm Water Treatment Areas) south of the lake. They do this so as not to flood their crops. Once these STAs are full, there is no way to send the overflow water in Lake Okeechobee through the STAs to be cleaned before it goes to the Everglades.
The real pinch here is that mostly public tax dollars and yes, some monies from the EAA paid for the STAs. So why do “they” get 100% of the storage in rainy times and why do we get 100% of the discharges reeking havoc on our economy and our bio-divese/dying treasure, the St Lucie River /Indian River Lagoon?
The government, the ACOE and the SFWMD and even local entities don’t often point this out; they simply say “there is no place for the water to go but through the estuaries.”
This model may have worked in the 1960s but it is not working today. Especially since much of the EAA is subsidized through our Federal Government. “Feed the world” or not, this is government sponsored ecological destruction in an era where we need to rethink the model not embrace it.
The ACOE may need to start dumping 1170 cubic feet per second into the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon starting tomorrow as “there is no where for the water to go but through the estuaries….”