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Cape Coral preparing to pump from Charlotte County to help replenish water shortage

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Posted at 4:27 PM, Apr 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-02 16:47:55-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — It has been several weeks since Cape Coral has seen measurable rain. This has led the city to issue a water shortage advisory for users of city water for irrigation. Fox 4 has learned that Cape Coral will be putting in for a permit to pump water down from Charlotte County.

Water canals in Cape Coral supply more than 50% of the water used for irrigation and the water used for some of the fire hydrates in the city. The city issued the water shortage advisory on Tuesday, due to the fact those canals were running low. While those canals, are not dangerously low, the city is looking to replenish that water now.

Fox 4 learned Friday that Cape Coral has a permit with Southwest Florida Water Management District to authorize the city to pump water. That water would be coming from a reservoir property at the Southwest Aggregates in south Charlotte County. The Southwest Aggregates property consists of 4 mine pits, which closed mining operations in 2021. That water would travel along a three-mile pipeline along Highway 41 into Gator Slough which will flow into Cape Coral’s extensive canal system.

“There are certain criteria that the City of Cape Coral has to meet before they can apply for that permit so it’s not like we are not applying because we don’t want to,” said Kaitlyn Pearson, Communications Specialist for Cape Coral. “It is just certain levels that have to be met and then they can go ahead apply for that permit. So, that should be happening in the next handful of days.

The total amount of water that will be pumped will be largely dependent on the weather and conditions in the reservoir. The rainfall this weekend will also play a factor. In the meantime, City of Cape Coral is keeping the two-day watering schedule, with hand watering allowed at any time. That said the city is encouraging residents to voluntarily adjusting timers to water once a week.

Pearson says that in a city of 200,000 plus thousand people, if each resident cuts back on water usage it will go a long way.

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