Simple math worth sharing


Volume of Deep Lake
Using the BOE approach

There’s a lot of sophisticated models out there …

But my favorite is called the BOE.

Sometimes simple math is the best

That’s short for “Back of the Envelope.”

Using the BOE approach, I estimate there are about 72 acre-feet of water in the approximately conical lake. Or in other words, it holds about the same volume of water as filling the Boston Red Sox Fenway Park up to the top of the 37-ft high Green Monster (i.e. Left Field Fence). The lake is about as deep as the distance from home plate to first base. Or in swamp terms, about two mature cypress trees high. Meanwhile, it holds fifty times the depth of a fully flooded cypress dome. And did you know the lake is meromictic below 75 ft? That means it’s bottom sediments do not circulate to the surface. Compare that to Lake Okeechobee that at a maximum depth of 20 ft it’s 5 times shallower than Deep Lake and constantly circulating its basal sediments back into the water column.

Twenty feet above the sea
At it's highest point (Gulp!)

How tall is the Everglades?

Cross section of the Kissimmee-Okeechobee-Everglades (KOE) flow way

If you include the Kissimmee River

It’s a respectable 60 feet tall.

But subtract it out of the picture (leaving behind only Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades) and it’s all under 20 feet high.

Or in other words …

Shorter than the top of a my single story roof.

It’s also infinite as far as the eye can see.

How To: Fix a leak
Why dripping faucets bother me so much

How much water do I use per month?

My water bill read around 5,000 gallons.

Florida kitchen a hundred years ago

By “use” I don’t mean drinking it all. There‚Äôs the sprinklers, cooking, washing dishes and clothes, an occasional fill up of the pool, plus two bathrooms and showers.

Constant drip of water use

Still, doing the math, that works out to a hefty half tablespoon per second.

Talk about a leaky faucet!

Batteries not included

How do you measure wetness in the swamp?

Answer: The same way you measure dryness.

Is the swamp wet or dry? How about both.

It’s called the Swamp-O-Meter.

Currently, the Swamp-O-Meter is showing the domes, strands, pond apple forests, marsh and gator holes to be flooded. From a dryness standpoint, that means the coveted “wildland fire breaks” are flooded. That helps contain and steer the wildland fire in the preferred spots when it occurs.