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Historical and Present Flows in the

Caloosahatchee River

GARY GOFORTH
Principal Engineer,
Gary Goforth, LLC

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Rapids leading from Lake Flirt to Caloosahatchee River prior to


destruction by Hamilton Disston in 1881
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5ThingsToKnow
AboutCaloosahatcheeRiverFlows
InterestingHistory Alteredthroughouthistory
2componentsofriverflow:LocalbasinrunoffandLakeOkeechobee
discharges
Highlyvariableflowfromrivertoestuary
Substantialpollutionloadcarriedtoestuaryfromlocalrunoffand
Lakedischarges:phosphorus,nitrogenandsediment.
Untiladditionalstorage,conveyance,treatmentandrevised
operationsareimplemented,theregionsenvironmentandeconomy
willcontinuetobesacrificedforthebenefitofthosesouthoftheLake
Sen.Negronsproposalrepresentsaonceinalifetimeopportunityto
significantlyreducedestructiveLakedischargestotheestuaries
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HistoricalRelationshiptoLake
Okeechobee
(pre1918)
NonavigableconnectionbetweenLake
OkeechobeeandCaloosahatcheeRiver,but
rathersheetflowduringperiodsofhighlake
stage
OverflowfromLakeOkeechobeewouldflow
southandwest
AreabetweenLakeFlirtandLakeOkeechobee
including4lakeswhichprovidedabout
11,000acresofstorageandtreatment was
thehistoricalheadwatersofWestern
Evergladestothesouthofthelake

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TimelineofCaloosahatcheeRiverFlowAlterations
Therewere102riverbendsinthe64milestretchfromBeautifulIslandtoLakeOkeechobeebefore1882.
Nowthereare26riverbends.
3001000AD

Navigation
canalsbetween
river,lakesand
townsbyMyami
andCalusa
Indians

1880s

Disstondredged
portionsofriver
channelonwayfrom
Ft.MyerstoLake
Okeechobee,
destroyedrapidsat
outletfromLakeFlirt;
anddredged22wide
by5deepchannel
fromLakeFlirttoLake
Okeechobee(which
eventuallysiltedin,
exacerbatedflooding,
andpluggedatMoore
Havenin1902)

1910s

EvergladesDrainage
Districtconstructs
locksandspillwaysat
MooreHaven,Citrus
CenterandFt.
Thompson;
deepenedand
widenedriver(5ft
deepby40ftwide)

1930s

USArmyCorpsof
Engineersconstructs
locksandspillwaysat
MooreHaven,Ortona
andFranklin;
deepenedand
widenedchannel(6
deepand80wide)

1940s

Corpsdeepened
andwidened
channel(812ft.
deepand90
250ft.wide)

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1960s

Corps
constructedlock
andspillwayat
Franklinand
deepenedand
widened
channel(25
deepmile
wide

2008

CurrentLake
Okeechobee
Regulation
Schedule
(LORS2008)

Present

C43Reservoir
authorizedand
constructionbegan;
scheduled
completion2020;
LakeHicpochee
enhancement
projectstarted

LakeFlirtRapids
(until1881)
Ft.Thompson
(19181937)

Franklin 1965

CitrusCenter
(19181937)

MooreHaven
(1918,1937)

Ortona 1937

ModifiedfromSFWMD2016
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FlowstoEstuaryfromC43BasinandLake
Averagedailyflowis1,770cfs;medianflowis650cfs

Lakecontributiontoestuaryvarieswidely from069%

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Forthe45yrperiodfrom1971present,
approximately36%offlowthroughS79are
fromLakeOkeechobee
approximately20%offlowthroughS79are
fromtheEasternbasin(eastofS78)
approximately43%offlowthroughS79are
fromtheWesternbasin(westofS78)

Ecologicalharmoccursatflowlessthan3001,200cfsandabove2,800cfs

Atleast50%oftime,flowsareintheseharmfulextremes

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MaximumFlowstoEstuaryfromC43BasinandLake

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DroughtConditions:
Exampleofimbalancedwater
supplydecisions
During7monthsofdrought,CaloosahatcheeRiver
receivedonly1.3fromLakeOkeechobee,
resultingin
5th consecutiveyearofexceedanceandviolationof
theMinimumFlowsandLevels(MFL),
whilewatersupplyusersintheEAAreceived22.2
ofLakewater.
Thenextmonth,June2011,theSFWMDused
pumpstosendanadditional2ofLakewaterto
the
EAA,resultingMFLexceedanceforLakeitself.
Preferredscenariowouldbesharedadversity.
FromSFWMDstaff
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PollutionloadstoestuaryfromC43BasinandLake
YearwithhighLakedischarges 2016

35yraverageannualvalues(19812015)

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ReducingdestructiveLakedischargestoestuary
Untiladditionalstorage,conveyance,treatmentandrevised
operationsareimplemented,theregionsenvironmentandeconomy
willcontinuetobesacrificedforthebenefitofthosesouthoftheLake
GoalistostoptheLaketriggeredhighflowevents(LTHF)
400,000AFstorageinCaloosahatcheebasin,200,000AFinSt.Lucie
basin,andatleast1,000,000AFdistributednorthandsouthofLake
CERPC43Reservoir 170,000AFofstorage
ThroughCEPP <55%reductioninLTHF

Sen.Negronscommitment:360,000AFon60,000acressouthofLake
Operations sendLakewatersouth12monthseachyear
WaterYear2015 DistrictdemonstratedbenefitsofyearrounddeliveryofLake
dischargestoSTAs mostLakeflowinhistoryANDbestperformanceinhistory!
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SummaryofCaloosahatcheeRiverFlows
InterestingHistory
2componentsofriverflow
Highlyvariableflowfromrivertoestuary
SubstantialpollutionloadcarriedtoestuaryfromlocalrunoffandLake
discharges
Untiladditionalstorage,conveyance,treatmentandrevised
operationsareimplemented,theregionsenvironmentandeconomy
willcontinuetobesacrificedforthebenefitofthosesouthoftheLake
Sen.Negronsproposalrepresentsaonceinalifetimeopportunityto
significantlyreducedestructiveLakedischargestotheestuaries
#SAVEOURWATER

Questions?

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