Tag Archives: the myth o local basin runoff

We’re “Up the Creek” if We Believe the Myth of Local Basin Runoff, SLR/IRL

S-153 drains this area
S-153 drains this area.
S-53 drains into the C-44 canal and then the St Lucie River
S-153 drains into the C-44 canal and then the St Lucie River
SFWMD canal and basin map. C-44 canal is the canal most southerly in the image.
SFWMD canal and basin map. C-44 canal is the canal most southerly in the image. See S-153 northeast of the C-44 “basin” area.

Water, water everywhere….

The ACOE and South Florida Water Management District are scrambling….they will have to start dumping from the lake and the local basin runoff is exceeding targets ….But is all the runoff into the C-44 really from a local basin? No it’s not.

Let’s drill down a bit.

The ACOE’s recent press release reads:

“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Corps to increase flows from Lake Okeechobee

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District intends to release
more water from Lake Okeechobee starting this weekend as it continues to
manage the lake level in the midst of El Nino conditions.

Starting Friday (Jan. 29), the new target flow for the Caloosahatchee
Estuary will average 2,800 cubic feet per second (cfs) over seven days as
measured at W.P. Franklin Lock (S-79) near Fort Myers. The new target flow
for the St. Lucie Estuary is a seven-day average of 1,170 cfs as measured at
St. Lucie Lock (S-80) near Stuart. However, runoff from rain in the
Caloosahatchee or the St. Lucie basins could occasionally result in flows
that exceed targets as the water passes through the spillway gates at the
Franklin or St. Lucie structures…”

What we have to remember is that the “basin,” the lands that water runs off of into the St Lucie River has been altered by agriculture and development ….so to call “all the water” going into the St Lucie its own basin water is really misleading and not respectful of history….

Let’s look at S-153 for instance, a spillway that is presently dumping approximately 1.2 billion gallons into the C-44 which then goes into the St Lucie River. If man had not altered this area, much of this water would naturally be flowing back into the lake…so again we really should not refer to it as “basin runoff” that belongs to the St Lucie River. Today large portions of this area are agriculture fields and an FPL energy plant so the run off water of this area has been redirected from the lake to us.

S-153 drains this area
S-308 drain LO; S-153 drain area around FPL plant.

Hmmm?

Let’s reflect for a moment on this information from my brother Todd:

“Jacqui,

According to my C-44 page the gates at the locks are up 2ft and dumping 4451cfs which equals 2.8 billion gallons per day.

http://www.thurlowpa.com/C44RealTimeData.htm

http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/cam/s80.htm (live picture)

Nothing is coming from the lake so they will say that this is all local runoff because S-308 at Port Mayaca is at 0? That S-153 spillway is dumping 1.2 billion into C-44. It seems to pull water west of Indiantown that would have otherwise gone into the lake not to the St. Lucie?

See also http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/reports/StatusDaily_files/slide0178.htm These are all linked on my firm page.”

Todd of course is right. And 1.2 billion gallons of extra fertilized, dirty water is worth noting. Don’t you think? The least they could do is filter it!

Todd and I will look into this further with historic maps of the old creek and ridge system prior to development and how the water historically flowed prior to S-153 flows, etc—– but for now, let’s not entirely be sold “up the creek,” by believing the all this water is “local” basin runoff.

Because it’s not. 🙂

Drainage changes to the SLR. Green is the original watershed. Yellow and pink have been added since ca.1920. (St Lucie River Initiative's Report to Congress 1994.)
Other basin changes are also bringing excess water into the river right now. This map shows general drainage changes to the SLR. Green is the original watershed. Yellow and pink have been added since ca.1920. (St Lucie River Initiative’s Report to Congress 1994.)

Former blog The Myth of Local Runoff: http://jacquithurlowlippisch.com/2015/09/25/the-myth-of-local-runoff-st-lucie-riverirl-rain-event-9-16-15/