Water agency continues process for reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee

CLEWISTON, Fla. - Lake Okeechobee has now dropped below 17 feet.

That's the good news.

The bad news is that to get the level down, the Army Corps of Engineers had to discharge billions of gallons of water east and west.

Some say the move highlights the need for more water storage south of the lake.

Earlier this year, lawmakers passed Senate Bill 10 to create a 60,000-acre reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee.

The reservoir is expected to significantly cut down on discharges.

"State legislature presented the district with strict guidelines. We've met them all," said Randy Smith with the South Florida Water Management District.

Smith says the district is now trying to come up with a plan and model to show the federal government which is splitting the bill for the project with the state.

Monday a public meeting was held to continue that process.

"Make sure that the state presents to the federal government is something that really has a chance to move forward," said Smith.

Another meeting will be held in West Palm Beach Thursday morning.

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