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Lake Okeechobee discharges to be reduced again

Posted at 2:12 PM, Apr 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-28 21:50:57-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- Just one week after reducing the amount of water flowing from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Estuaries, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be reducing the flow again.

The Corps announced Thursday that the changes will take effect Friday.  The new target flow for the Caloosahatchee Estuary is a seven-day average of 2,000 cubic feet per second as measured at W.P. Franklin Lock & Dam near Fort Myers.

Last Friday, the Corps reduced the average flow from 4,000 cfs to 2,500.

The new target flow for the St. Lucie Estuary is a seven-day average of 650 cfs as measured at St. Lucie Lock near Stuart.

The lake stage is 14.33 feet, down over two feet since it peaked at 16.40 feet on February 8. 

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“The lake level continues to decrease,” said Lt. Col. Jennifer Reynolds, Jacksonville District Deputy Commander for South Florida. “Even though we reduced flows last week , the recession rate has remained the same mostly due to warm, dry weather which is increasing evaporation off the lake and increasing the need for water supply to the south.”

For more information on water level and flows data for Lake Okeechobee, visit the Corps’ water management website.