The Clewiston News

County opposes Water Resource Bill

LABELLE – Hendry County opposes Florida Senate Bill 10 (SB10) supporting a land-buy south of Lake Okeechobee that was filed on Jan. 26. State and federal scientists and engineers created a report during the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Planning Project that outlined the advantages of water storage technologies north of the Lake. This report was presented to the Water Resources Advisory Committee (WRAC) on Feb. 2.

“Multi-faceted storage north of Lake Okeechobee provides a cost-effective, flexible strategy to meet environmental and water supply goals in South Florida,” said WRAC Chairman Jim Moran.

The land costs north of the Lake are lower and the geological conditions favor aquifer storage and recovery. A land-buy north of Lake Okeechobee means the effectiveness of storage would not be limited by structures and conveyance capacity as it would be with land purchased south of the Lake.

Hendry County’s opposition to the SB10 bill stems from a unanimously approved resolution by Hendry County Board of County Commissioners on Aug. 23, 2016. The resolution opposes actions that would not provide solutions for releasing water to the Caloosahatchee River and St. Lucie River Estuaries.

The resolution highlights the importance of completing existing, approved projects that the State and Federal government have already invested in such as the Central Everglades Planning projects and the Herbert Dike Rehabilitation.

These critical projects require additional funding for completion and will be delayed if the land south of Lake Okeechobee is purchased.