Cloud control

Where does Everglades Nat’l Park get its water?

All of it comes from the sky, but only about three-quarters of it lands on the park itself.

Most of the rest flows in from the north.


That’s where it gets tricky.

The Park started in 1947 with the vague notion that handshake deals would get it what it wanted, but over the years its evolved into a complex calculus of engineering, water supply, biological, and legal parameters and view points,

And of course the whim of the political winds as they blow.


The math was made immeasurably simpler in 1974 when the watershed that feeds all the water into the park’s western arm was preserved in perpetuity.

That watershed – called Big Cypress Nat’l Preserve – is 100 percent rain driven,

“Rain driven” is just a fancy technical way of saying it gets all its water fresh from the sky.

The best bet to guaranteeing your water is to control the entire watershed.

Otherwise it’s a day-after-day decades long struggle to get the “water right” when, where, and how you need it.

If only we could control the clouds just as well!

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