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Lake Okeechobee water level drops below targeted range

Posted at 7:12 AM, Apr 04, 2017
and last updated 2019-03-25 21:53:25-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Dry weather has caused the water level in Lake Okeechobee drop below the minimum range targeted for South Florida's drinking water supply.

The Sun Sentinel reports that if the dry spring becomes a summer drought, water restrictions could follow.

On Monday, officials said the lake was at 12.46 feet (3.8 meters) above sea level, which is 2.66 feet (0.81 meters) lower than the same time last year.

In order to balance water supply needs during dry months while avoiding flooding concerns during the storm season, the Army Corp of Engineers likes to keep the lake level between 12.5 to 15.5 feet (3.81 meters) year round.

Florida Water Management officials say March was drier than usual, averaging under an inch of rainfall in the region stretching from Orlando to the Florida Keys.