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5 options outlined for Lake Okeechobee reservoir

Posted at 11:57 PM, Jan 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-10 04:12:19-05

The South Florida Water Management District released five designs for a water reservoir to be built south of Lake Okeechobee on Tuesday.

Scientists and engineers have worked around the clock for months to complete the report and send it to the state legislature.

The reservoir aims to create more water storage to reduce the amount of water from Lake Okeechobee that is released into the St. Lucie Estuary.

All five of the designs are located mainly on land already owned by the state south of Lake Okeechobee.

They all aim to reduce the amount of discharges, give more water to the Everglades and meet water quality standards, according to the report.

They range in costs from $1.34 billion to $1.74 billion. 

Of the designs, two are designated by the South Florida Water Management District as “best buys.”

One of those best buys would cost $1.34 billion, have a reservoir that is approximately 10,100 acres in size, and have a depth of 23 feet.

The other "best buy" would be more expensive at $1.74 billion, be larger in size at around 19,700 acres but more shallow at a depth of 18 feet. It could also serve multiple purposes including water supply, according to the report.

Some critics of the plan do not believe it will make a big enough difference in the effects of Lake Okeechobee releases into the estuary.

Some also want to see more designs.

Supporters say it is a step in the right direction to prevent future algae blooms.

To see the full South Florida Water Management District report, click here