NewsRegion Okeechobee County


Concerns about push to keep lower water levels in Lake Okeechobee during dry season

Posted at 5:13 PM, Aug 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-02 10:36:34-04

Keeping Lake Okeechobee at a low level could be helpful in preventing harmful discharges east and west.

However, communities around the lake could face a negative impact should lake levels get too low.

In Clewiston, Koby Kreiger has no problem with the lake getting down to 11-12 feet.

He remembers what happened during severe droughts years ago though.

It's hard to predict Mother Nature, and if those levels get down to maybe 9 feet, that could be a problem.

"Wouldn't have any boats docked at our marinas," said Kreiger. "Actually owned my own tackle shop and we actually closed for the summer because there was no business."

It's not just tourism. There's also concerns about water supply.

Okeechobee County relies on Lake Okeechobee.

"It's important to realize you gotta leave yourself a safety margin so in case that we do go into a drought situation that we go so low that we dry the lake and then cause serious damage," said Okeechobee County Commissioner Bryant Culpepper.

The hope is if there is a change in the schedule to keep lake levels down, it does not impact those that rely on Lake Okeechobee.