What a difference a regulation schedule makes …
Fast forward 365 days to where we are today and the Lake has already let loose a quarter of a million acre feet of its water down into the Caloosahatchee.
Too much freshwater for too long (at the wrong seasonal twist of the calendar) runs the risk of throwing the estuary’s vital ecology out of balance,
Plus elevated nutrients and turbidity that comes with it …
Algae blooms lie in wait.
What percentage of S-79’s water comes from the Lake?
Here’s a look going back to the early 1980s.
While that may seem like a lot – the equivalent of 200 “Empire State Building” tall glasses – it could have been a lot worse: The major El Niño winters of 1983 and 1998 each sent nearly 2 million acre feet of water through the S-79 through the first 5 months of the calendar year.
Or in other words:
Half the Lake’s current volume.
(Click here to view S-79 historical discharges in detail.)