SUN SENTINEL: Florida's drought drops Lake Okeechobee to risky water level

Sun Sentinel: Written by Andy Reid. May 31, 2017.

Florida’s drought has dropped Lake Okeechobee to its lowest level since 2011 — close to the point where lake water wouldn’t be available to water crops or back up drinking water supplies.

If the lake level drops to 10.5 feet above sea level, that could trigger emergency pumping to keep lake water flowing south as well as tougher watering restrictions to conserve South Florida water supplies.

The start of Florida’s rainy season — a parade of afternoon showers that usually begins at the end of May or early June — could soon relieve South Florida’s water supply strain.

“Farmers are praying for summer rains to begin on time,” U.S. Sugar Corp. spokeswoman Judy Sanchez said Wednesday.

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