Lake Okeechobee Water Level Update

Southeast Florida drought conditionsJust five days after the U.S. government unveiled a new website – Drought.gov – the South Florida Water Management District announced today that “seasonal rains did not sufficiently replenish regional water supplies to meet the coming dry season’s demands.”  With Lake Okeechobee registering at 10.38 feet above sea level yesterday, it is 1.15 feet below its previous historic low for this date (26 years ago in 1981).  This time last year, the lake was 2.29 feet higher.  The SFWMD news release continues:

“Because Lake Okeechobee serves as a primary backup water supply to more than five million South Floridians in the District’s Lower East Coast, residents there must continue to observe current modified Phase II restrictions, even though local rainfall has seemed plentiful.  Residents are also encouraged to conserve water within the home to help stretch regional supplies.”  With that in mind, here are some helpful resources:

– You can get Lake Okeechobee water level updates here

– The American Red Cross offers some excellent indoor and outdoor water conservation tips

Are you water-wise?  Take the home water audit and find out! 

– Meanwhile, this list started out with 100 Water Saving Tips but somehow ended up with 111.  🙂

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7 Responses to “Lake Okeechobee Water Level Update”

  1. Carole Cohen Says:

    This is a serious issue for your area and I guess I wonder if the water savings tips are a usual thing or is this year unusual? Great tips!
    I took the water use audit. I did well, even though I never fill the sink to do dishes lol. Have a question about why someone would be flushing the toilet when not necessary but I guess anything is possible 🙂

  2. Leanne Paynter Says:

    Carole, most years this is not a serious issue in Southeast Florida and we don’t have water restrictions too often — it just hasn’t rained much over Lake O the past year or two.

    I did well on the home water audit, too. As for flushing the toilet when not necessary… I’ve actually seen people throw in a used facial tissue and flush (just for that) even when there’s a garbage can nearby.

  3. Carole Cohen Says:

    I’m glad it’s not regular occurence and I hope it rains a lot soon!

  4. monikamcgillicuddy Says:

    I can’t imagine owning waterfront one day and then puff it’s gone but apparently that’s what has happened in places.

  5. Leanne Paynter Says:

    Carole – I hope it rains a lot soon, too, but — unfortunately — that’s not likely to happen because Florida’s “rainy season” is pretty much over. The sad thing is, it rained a pretty good amount in S.E. Florida during the rainy season but not much over Lake Okeechobee which is further north & west and Lake O serves as a primary backup water supply to South Floridians.

    Monika – actually… the vast majority of land along the Lake O coastline is either undeveloped, undevelopable, or farm land. There’s also a 20-foot high dike surrounding the lake. If you are interested, check out the aerial images on Google Maps and you’ll see what I mean. But, yes, there are places around Lake O where the water has receded as much as one mile! Of course, this is also a very shallow lake with an average depth of only 9 feet.

    On another note, having visited Georgia’s Lake Lanier last year, I know they are having major water issues and, unlike Lake Okeechobee in Florida, Lake Lanier has many expensive waterfront homes along it’s coast. I’ve seen images of how much the water has receded and it’s simply amazing!

  6. monikamcgillicuddy Says:

    We have many lakes up here that that lower the water level in the winter. Maybe about 15 feet or so but that’s really it. Come spring it naturally raises back to normal levels. I feel for the people in Georgia!

  7. Ruth Matics Says:

    What should I select to get the water level of Lake Okeechobee? A few years ago it was so simple and now it is difficult.


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