How Much of the EAA Would be Covered in Water if…..SLR/IRL


I think one of the most difficult parts of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon/Lake Okeechobee problem is to understand how much Lake Okeechobee water we are talking about….

I recently asked Deb Drum of Martin County, Dr Gary Goforth and my technology-wiz brother, Todd,  the following question:

“Do you know how many acre feet of water came just from S-308, (Lake Okeechobee), into the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon? ”

icon_maps_st_lucie basin canals
SFWMD canal and basin map. C-44 canal is the canal most southerly in the image.

I got great information from all. Deb Drum from Martin County summarized most simply:

“From January – October 2016, SLE has received about 630,000 acre feet of water (1 foot of water over 630,000 acres)…”

In an ideal world the St Lucie River would receive NO discharges from Lake Okeechobee as there was no natural connection to the lake or its watershed.

The Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council EAA map I have been using for my series, “Who Owns the Land? Mapping Out Florida’s Water Future,” shows us the 700,000 acres that comprise the Everglades Agricultural Area south of Lake Okeechobee.

Now picture this…

If all the water that was discharged into the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon in calendar year 2016 were to have gone instead into the Everglades Agricultural Area, 630,000 acres of its 700,000 acres would be covered in one foot of water….

That’s a lot of water! In fact, almost all of the EAA would be completely covered in water. And this of course is not taking into account the Caloosahatchee that receives about three times as much water.


Red shows approximately 630,000 acre feet of water covering 700,000 of the EAA’s total acreage. 



Land ownership in the EAA, updated map 10-27-16 JTL

9 thoughts on “How Much of the EAA Would be Covered in Water if…..SLR/IRL

  1. Jacqui, Long time no see. Hope you and your family are doing well. I really enjoy your informational stuff.

    However, I wonder if this piece accomplishes your goals, because I question the math. I don’t presume to know the actual answer, because there are so many variables. So here are my concerns. First, that’s 630,000 acre feet over ten months. Not all at once and not held forever.

    I don’t know how long water would have to stay in flow through marshes to bet cleaned. Say, it’s one month. If you look at it on a per month basis, divide by 10 and it’s 63,000 acre feet per month. Then, if you create marshes that hold 2 feet of water, that’s 31,500 acres of land two feet deep. Three feet deep and we’re down to 10,250 acres.

    And of course, it’s going to vary from month to month, too. And please do’t forget that we don’t need to get rid of all the water. Getting rid of even half would help.

    Bottom line, I really don’t see how you get to us needing 630,000 acres of land to accommodate the water and I wonder if this posting will help or hurt our efforts.

    Thanks again for everything, mary

  2. Add to that the runoff from the EAA that it gets in local rain and you can easily understand why the STA and WCA areas are often full.

  3. Good point. You cannot “store” your way out of the discharges down the C 43 and C 44. There must be a free flowing outlet all the way to Florida Bay. Nothing is currently in any plan for that to happen. Newton

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. Hi Jacqui, how can I get involved in making lives better for all reference SLR/IRL. I’m a Florida native considering I’ve lived in Indiantown since 1961 (My entire life), served 25 years in the Army, Majored in GIS (Todd and Ed knows this), I’ve talked to them both during a meet and greet at Conchy Joe’s, and still no one has ever spoken with me about serving Martin County. Anything I could do for you would be my honor.


    Mark L. Woodruff Indiantown, FL ________________________________

  5. Does this play into the opposition from Big Sugar’s claim that we want to flood their farms and homes?

    W.E. “Ted” Guy, Jr.

    643 SW Fuge Rd

    Stuart, Fl 34997

    (772) 287-4106 (home)

    (772) 485-1866 (cell/car)

    1. That is not the hope. The hope is to see how much water and once This is comprehended all helping everywhere. Maybe I’ll show all MARTIN County with one foot water. I think it’s about 500,000 acres but I need to check again. All good things to you Ted!!!!!

  6. Ms.Thurlow-Lippisch – your rendering of the amount of land needed to take water on during rainy season shows exactly why the Negron plan won’t work and shows its as the ploy it is to take fertile farmland. Mr. Guy – you are exactly right, it is an effort to flood our farms and homes – to drown out the Glades communities. Thank you both ever so much for revealing the TRUTH today on 1) the absurdity of the Negron Plan and 2)the attack on Florida farmers and Glades communities. My hope is that we will all work together on a plan to address the water quality and quantity from the North that’s dumped into Lake O so that its natural habitat is preserved therefore safeguarding the coastal estuaries while helping to save what is left of the Everglades. Would be nice to see collaborative efforts with no hidden agendas but to work on behalf of the communities we love for the right reasons and not at the expense of one versus the other one. Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with you today.

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