This year, the Army Corp of Engineers– with input from the South Florida Water Management District, and other stakeholders— has been discharging from Lake Okeechobee into the St Lucie River and southern Indian River Lagoon since January 29th, 2016. Today will review an April update.
We as citizens must pay attention and know what is happening to the river so that we can intelligently fight for its future.
Dr Goforth’s chart above gives a good visual comparison of 2016’s discharges, thus far, compared to those of 1997/98, another El Nino year with fish lesions, fish kills, and toxic algae reports. This chart also compares 2013, our recent “Lost Summer,” when toxic algae blooms filled the river, on and off, for about three out of five dumping months. (–Running May through October, 2013.)
One can see, that Lake Okeechobee’s 2016 discharge amounts are quickly approaching the total numbers released in 2013— although well below those of 1997/98.
Although discharges have been lessened lately, with the Army Corp of Engineers reporting a possible La Nina indications for the 2016 Hurricane season, (4-26-16 ACOE Periodic Scientist Call) considerably more rain could be on the way.
With the lake sitting at 14.29 today, —a high level going into “wet season,” starting June 1st—we should all be watching the situation very closely. Hopefully 2016’s total Lake O release numbers will be nowhere close to 1997/98.
We must continue to advocate hard for a third outlet, and land purchase south of the Lake Okeechobee, as this is the only way to spare our rivers’ repeated total destruction.
Thank you to Dr Goforth for his contribution today.
ACOE Lake O: http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/currentLL.shtml
The following is from an email dated from Dr Gary Goforth on April 26, 2016 including the slide used for today’s blog and others of interest. Click on image to enlarge.
1. Summary of the 2016 Lake discharge event to the St. Lucie River and Estuary.
2. Preliminary Water Year 2016 (May 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016 – missing April 2016) summary, including
a. Inflows to Lake Okeechobee by basin, with comparison to last year
b. Outflows from Lake Okeechobee by region, with comparison to last year
c. Flow diagram for Lake releases, with comparison to last year
d. Lake releases to STAs, with comparison to last year
e. Nutrient and TSS load from Lake discharges to the St Lucie and Caloosahatchee Estuary
f. The graphs are shown for both acre feet and billion gallons
Dr Gary Goforth http://garygoforth.net
Previous blog on 1998:https://jacquithurlowlippisch.com/2015/12/16/remembering-and-comparing-the-199798-el-nino-to-todays-slrirl/
1 thought on “Comparison Update of Lake O Discharge Events, 1998, 2013, and 2016, SLR/IRL”
Army Corp of Engineers, South Florida Water Mgt District and other “Stakeholders” (wish i had a list of them). I would like to be considered a citizen who “must pay attention and know what is happening to the river so that we can intelligently fight for it’s future, I am under the impression that as residents of Florida we voted to purchase land south of Lake Okeechobee. I understand this is the only way to provide an outlet for the water, and the only way to spare our rivers’ repeated total destruction”. After seeing pictures of our beaches, pictures of dead fish, and toxic algae reports, I am very concerned. It’s apparent that we are losing tourists which involves lodging and restaurants, requests for our fishing charters. and other sources of income. I am even more concerned about the destruction of our beautiful land and water ways. My appeal is to those of you that are responsible for making the decisions to preserve our State. If you’ve read this for my plea, thank you!
Millie Bandy, a 25 year resident of Florida.