S-12s close early

If we had a window, we’d shut it.

But we don’t so we let all that cold air run though.

S-12D, the biggest and longest flowing of the four gates, closed late last week

With water management, on the other hand, we have an option.

Gates can be operated to open and close exactly when and to what degree we want them. In the case of the S12s – the main inflow into Everglades Nat’l Park – the gates are closing early this winter dry season. (Only three times in the past twenty years have they closed this early, and never before i.e., November).

Of course it has nothing to do with the winter cold (air) and everything to do with the dry season’s lack of rain combined with low wetland water levels in upstream Water Conservation Area 3.

This hydrograph shows discharge in cubic feet per second (top) and annual discharge volume for all the S12s in millions of acre feet.  By the way, Lake Okeechobee holds about 4 million acre feet at 15 ft.

Gatekeepers go by hydrographs which, in this case (below), has dropped squarely into Zone E. That plus the long winter drought ahead puts the priority on saving what water’s still left …

This hydrograph jams a lot on one page:
water depth, elevation, historical stats, habitat types, and regulatory zones. 

The summer rains never felt so far away.

(That’s because of the cold!)

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