SFWMD unveils latest model results for Everglades Agricultural Area Storage Reservoir Project

SFWMD modeling results that reduce harmful Lake Okeechobee discharges.


South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) staff yesterday held its eighth public meeting in two months on the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Storage Reservoir Project and presented stakeholders and interested parties with model results detailing projected benefits of the alternative plans. The results show each of the project configurations presented reduce damaging discharges from Lake Okeechobee to the northern coastal estuaries and meet the goals of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) for sending 300,000 acre-feet of treated water south into the Everglades each year.
 
 “This Governing Board and District staff have been steadfast in meeting the aggressive timelines set forth by Senate Bill 10, while ensuring the public is part of the process and providing us with feedback every step of the way,” said SFWMD Governing Board Chairman Dan O’Keefe. “The release of these latest model results is an enormous milestone for a project that will help reduce damaging discharges to the coastal estuaries and work in conjunction with our ongoing and future planned Everglades restoration initiatives.”
The alternative designs for the project include:
  • Alternative R240A: This alternative would store 240,000 acre-feet of water by utilizing a 10,100-acre reservoir on the eastern side of the A-2 parcel and a 6,500-acre stormwater treatment area (STA) on the western side of the A-2 parcel. This alternative would reduce the volume of damaging discharges to coastal estuaries by 50 percent in conjunction with completion of all authorized Everglades restoration projects already underway.
  • Alternative R240B: This alternative would store 240,000 acre-feet of water by utilizing a 10,100-acre reservoir on the western side of the A-2 parcel and a 6,500-acre STA on the eastern side of the parcel. This alternative would reduce the volume of damaging discharges to the coastal estuaries by 50 percent in conjunction with completion of all authorized Everglades restoration projects already underway.
  • Alternative R360C: This alternative would store 360,000 acre-feet of water by utilizing a 19,700-acre reservoir on the eastern side of the A-2 parcel and the entire A-1 parcel. It would use 11,500 acres on the western side of the A-2 parcel for an STA to properly treat stormwater to meet state water quality standards. This alternative would reduce the volume of damaging discharges to the coastal estuaries by 52 percent in conjunction with completion of all authorized Everglades restoration projects already underway.
  • Alternative R360D: This alternative would store 360,000 acre-feet of water by utilizing a 19,700-acre reservoir on the entire A-2 parcel and the northern portion of the A-1 parcel, while using the southern portion of the A-1 parcel for an 11,500-acre STA. This alternative would reduce the volume of damaging estuary discharges to the coastal estuaries by 52 percent in conjunction with completion of all authorized Everglades restoration projects already underway.
  • Alternative C360C: This alternative would have the same benefits as Alternative R360C, as well as all the benefits contained in CERP.
The process of planning for the reservoir began as Senate Bill 10. Earlier this year, the bill was authorized by the Florida Legislature, an effort led by Senate President Joe Negron, and signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott. A detailed report on the District’s findings regarding all of the project alternatives, including benefits and estimated costs, will be sent to the Legislature in January in accordance with state law.
 
A Post Authorization Change Report that will describe the most cost-effective alternative for this project as the next increment of the Congressionally approved Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) will be sent to the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Civil Works, for federal approval and cost sharing in March 2018.
 
Public Meeting Schedule 

SFWMD is currently engaged in an extensive series of public meetings to receive public input to help inform the scope and modeling for the EAA Storage Reservoir Project. This effort is consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process necessary to ensure the project remains eligible for federal cost sharing as part of CERP. 
 

The District will host its ninth public meeting on Thursday, Dec. 21, in West Palm Beach. This meeting will also be webcast live on SFWMD’s website at  www.sfwmd.gov.

If you would like to provide comments but cannot attend the meeting, you can submit feedback via email to EAAreservoir@sfwmd.gov or through handwritten correspondence to: 
  

Mike Albert, Project Manager 
South Florida Water Management District 
3301 Gun Club Road, MSC 8312 
West Palm Beach, FL 33406
 
For modeling data and more information on the meetings, including agendas and presentations, visit www.sfwmd.gov/eaareservoir.
  
To learn more about SFWMD’s ongoing planning projects that are part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, visit www.sfwmd.gov/cerpplanning.
Everglades Agricultural Area Storage Reservoir Public Meeting
WHAT Public Meeting
WHO
Conducted by SFWMD
WHEN
Thursday, Dec. 21, 9 a.m.
WHERE
District Headquarters, B-1 Auditorium
3301 Gun Club Road
West Palm Beach, FL 33406

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