KEYS NEWS: Reservoir dogged by debate as session begins

Keys News: Written by Chuck Wickenhofer. January 17, 2018.

SOUTH FLORIDA — Planning work on a reservoir to capture and store water overflowing from Lake Okeechobee and storm treatment areas to clean the water before it is sent south to the Everglades and Florida Bay continues as several groups oppose the plans presented last week to the Florida Legislature.

The issue? The reservoir plans being advanced by the South Florida Water Management District don’t provide for adequate treatment, according to Everglades Foundation CEO Eric Eikenberg.

His group has proposed a grander option, which would include a larger stormwater treatment area, but would also require about three times the acreage of the current proposals. He claims that eight scientists in his group’s employ have concluded that the plans SFWMD is advancing won’t work, and that the reservoir isn’t a reservoir at all, but rather a flow equalization basin that will be insufficient to meet high water quality standards while sending enough water south to make a positive impact on the complex South Florida ecosystem.

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