Hauñted Waters

Have releases from the Lake ended for the year?

Baring a late season tropical storm, the new operational imperative will be to hold water back in the Lake in preparation for the rain-scarce La Niña dry season ahead. This year’s quiet fall is a stark contrast to five years ago in October 2005 when water was galloping down the Caloosahatchee at a record clip.

Around a million acre feet discharged through the S-79 and out to tide in the final two months of the 2005 calendar year.  Compare that to around 1.4 million acre feet for the this year’s full calendar year to date.

What’s hard to believe is that we’ve actually had active hurricane season.

The 2010 Hurricane Season only has four names left on the primary list, (see article). The last time that happened was 2005.

Of course locally it isn’t the number that matters, but the whimsy of their tracks.

“All it takes is one,” is the well worn phrase in hurricane country. But come dry season that ethos gets turned around on its head: “We missed our chance” everyone will be thinking instead.

Not that we can control any of it.

Evaporation, at just over 2 million acre feet per year, makes up the biggest slice of the Lake’s annual water pie. The Lake holds twice that (around 4 million acre feet) when full at 15 feet above sea level. That’s the level that the entire wetland inside the levee is flooded and which, incidentally, marked this year’s April/May high water peak.

The Lake’s been steadily declining ever since:
current stage is 13.6 feet above sea level.

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