Color-Coded Maps – Help Us to Understand the Flow of Lake O

MAP 1.

New maps denoting volumes in 1000 acre feet as presented by John Mitnick P.E., SFWMD – please note for readability, slides have been enlarged into two images.

Today, I wanted to share new map images, “Selected Release Volumes, November 1st, 2018, to May 7, 2019,” being presented at the South Florida Water Management District by Chief District Engineer, John Mitnik P.E. Thank you to Mr Mitnik and his staff for these great images. I really like them and I think you will too as they specifically break down the movement of water from north to south, using color-coding and arrows, making it easier to see and understand the water flows of the complicated Lake O system.

Looking above, notice that the map starts at the top with Orlando’s free-flowing creeks, the often forgotten headwaters of Lake Okeechobee and Kissimmee Chain of Lakes: Their names? “Reedy,” “Shingle” and “Boggy.” Sounds like names from an Everglades’ Seven Dwarves, don’t they?

As you study the map images, above, and below, you’ll catch on quickly with the color-coded arrows and numbers in acre feet. If you wish to compute, use my brother, Todd Thurlow’s easy conversion chart for acre feet: (

I’m not going to review each line, just some highlights…but please read through it all!

If you live in Martin or St Luice County, you may find of particular interest RED, RELEASES TO THE INDIAN RIVER LAGOON, (C-25 at Taylor Creek); and BROWNISH-RED, UPPER EAST COAST, DISCHARGES TO THE ST LUCIE ESTUARY, (C-23 and C-24);  for all of us BLUE, TOTAL RELEASES SOUTH, is always important! 550.6 thousand acre feet is really a lot of Lake water “going south.” The original Everglades Forever Act proposed 250,000 acre feet, but it has not always worked out that way.  Some years have been basically null. We should be very happy about 550.6!


Map 2

On the southern map you’ll see some of the same colors and number and new ones like OLIVE GREEN, LAKE RELEASES EAST AND WEST; and many more. Most interesting to me right now as the estuaries are not getting bombed is LIGHT GREEN, WATER CONSERVATION AREA 3 RELEASES TO EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK linked to the L-29 Canal along the Tamiami Trail. It is not just how much water is going south, but how much is getting to the right part of Florida Bay as it is hyper-saline, in parts, leading to massive seagrass die-off. This problem was the first to inspire change and it is still messed up….

In any case, I hope you enjoy these images as much as I do! And following such will certainly help us attain our goals!

To see this presentation in its original form please link here: (

Source of Maps:

12 thoughts on “Color-Coded Maps – Help Us to Understand the Flow of Lake O

  1. Thanks again Jacqui for a great post!

    As you know, “perceptions are our reality” and the perception here on the West Coast is that the numbers are transposed since the West Coast “perception” is that we received much more released than was released to the South. I’ll post this here on the West Coast to change these perceptions.

    1. Thank you Mike, of course it is always changing based on water flowing from north to south and rainfall. Certainly the Caloosahatchee takes a tremendous amount of water in general. More than the St Lucie for sure and I would think more than goes south in a rainy or watery year. I will continue to post the maps so we can see these changes. Thanks so much for your comments!!!

  2. I suspect the same mapping applied to a timeframe of May 1 – Nov 1, 2018 would paint a far different picture.

  3. Thanks Jacqui. The charts used in the presentations are the best way to see where water goes at a given time. Mother Nature can make them radically different for the same time period from year to year. You had some great suggestions on how to improve the charts so people who have not been watching them for over a decade can have a better understanding.

  4. When I was in Mississippi A small family food processing plant was bought out by a national giant food processing company. I worked for a year to make upgrades that was supposed to help the local people. I found out a year later that they shut it down. You would think there would be laws against destroying your competitor in such a way but aparantly not. Is our State gov. useing our own tax dollars to destroy and shut down US sugar so forign competitors can take all the money? I think this form of ecconomic TREASON is one of the reasons our country is 30 trillion in dept.

    1. who mentioned sugar?

      Our country’s SOCIALIST price supports for sugar are the only reason it’s a viable industry in SFL. American consumers pay over $1.4 BILLION more than they should for sugar products each year.

  5. Hi Jacqui, Great job on getting SFWMD staff to create these new water flow maps. If you follow Gary’s lead of using WR [water years] for the upcoming full year, that approach should also be interesting.

    This is a great way for viewing past and current discharges, but it does little to solve the overall water flow problems that need resolution. If you could get the staff to add the presumed improvements of completed CERP and CEPP to a WR 2018, this might prove quite instructive as to how effective the current thrust of these ~$20 billion will prove.

    Sincerely, Joe


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