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Cape Coral water crisis affects canals; city offers solutions

Posted at 7:42 PM, Apr 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-05 07:26:37-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- Cape Coral residents are showing concern over their canals, as a drought continues to cripple the area.

A canal on Northeast 13th Avenue can be seen with water levels five feet below normal, Tuesday. Resident Mike Johnston tells Fox 4 the water is so shallow, fish are dying. "It smells like rotten water that sat out all day in your backyard boiling," he said. 

Johnston keeps his boat in the canal. It is now almost touching the sandy bottom. "My parents, who are elderly, can't come out on the boat. We can't use the boat, we can't get through the bridge, we can't use the canal, so it's just sitting there," said Johnston. "They're going to have to do something. If it keeps going and this dries out, it's going to be a mess. All the fish will be dead, and you're going to have some very unhappy Cape Coral Residents."

Cape Coral city leaders approved nearly $200,000 for a study, Monday, in hopes of coming up with a long term solution. The study will determine whether they can pump water into the Cape canal system from a mining pit in Punta Gorda. "I know it's very disturbing for residents who live in the North Cape to go out and look in the canals and see hardly any water," said city spokesperson Connie Barron. "If we can move quickly enough, we might be able to start testing the system and seeing whether or not the pumping of water from the reservoir into Cape Coral canals will be a viable solution."

They're hoping to do a test run some time this month. In the meantime, they're only allowing people to irrigate twice a week. However, they are requesting for everyone to cut down to once a week.