South Florida Water Management District

Kate Stein / WLRN

For most of us, culverts -- the pipes that help water flow under roads and hills --  aren't particularly exciting news.

But the South Florida Water Management District is celebrating a Dec. 14 decision by its governing board to speed up building four new culverts that are part of a project to restore coastal areas along Biscayne Bay.

Allen Eyestone / Palm Beach Post

Water managers planning a massive Everglades reservoir to help end polluted releases from Lake Okeechobee that regularly foul both coasts unveiled early drafts of the project Tuesday.

NOAA via AP

With Hurricane Irma bearing down on the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean, water managers in South Florida are bracing for heavy rainfall they say could exacerbate high water issues from record-setting rains the region experienced earlier this summer.

Amy Green / WMFE

A key player on Everglades issues was elevated Monday to become executive director of the South Florida Water Management District, replacing Pete Antonacci who is leaving to become Gov. Rick Scott's top business recruiter.

The district's Governing Board unanimously agreed during a teleconference to promote Ernie Marks, district director of Everglades policy and coordination, to executive director.

Read more: River of Grass, Dying of Thirst

South Florida Water Management District

Described by Gov. Rick Scott as someone who can “get deals done,” South Florida Water Management District Executive Director Pete Antonacci has been tapped as the next leader of the business-recruitment agency Enterprise Florida.

Enterprise Florida's executive committee last week unanimously approved a recommendation by agency Vice Chairman Stan Connally to offer the president and CEO position to Antonacci rather than to go through a search.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

So much rain so early in the wet season has led to a slow-moving crisis across South Florida: what to do with all the water before things get really bad.

A state plan to protect estuaries by moving water north of Lake Okeechobee underground is sparking opposition.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Payrolled python hunters. They’re the latest story on the South Florida python beat, and they’re drawing national and international media attention, too.

A water shortage warning has been issued to 8.1 million residents from Orlando to the Florida Keys.


Kate Stein / WLRN

What makes water managers celebrate?

New pipes, of course!

So South Florida Water Management District employees were stoked Monday when a flatbed truck with a massive aluminum pipe -- about 60 feet long and five feet in diameter -- finally arrived at a big district construction site southwest of Homestead. The pipe is one of three to be used in a project providing Florida Bay with more of the fresh water it desperately needs.

Kate Stein / WLRN

If you scoop a glassful of water from the heart of the Everglades, that water is as pure and clear as the water that flows from your tap.

That’s because chances are good your tap water comes from the Everglades.

One in three Floridians -- more than eight million of us -- gets drinking water from the Biscayne Aquifer a few feet below the southeastern Everglades. The ecosystem acts as a natural filter, removing excess nutrients and keeping out seawater.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Let’s start with what we’re losing: 

One of the most biologically diverse places on Earth, from sawgrass to cypress trees, apple snails to alligators. The historic home of Florida’s Miccosukee and Seminole tribes. A national park.

The ecosystem that ensures fresh drinking water for more than 8 million Floridians.

Everglades advocate Marjory Stoneman Douglas talked about all this in an interview in 1983.

David Adam Kess / Via Wikimedia Commons

South Florida residents and businesses are urged to conserve water through May, when the dry season ends. That’s because the current dry season has been, well… really, really dry.

 

The South Florida Water Management District reports rainfall has been only 41 percent of what the region normally sees from November to February. The district says November 2016 was the driest month since regional record-keeping began in 1932.

 

Martin County Health Department

A bill to build water storage reservoirs south of Lake Okeechobee was introduced in Florida’s legislature on Thursday, formalizing a controversial plan by Senate President Joe Negron.

USGS, via Wikimedia Commons

A federal ruling issued last week on water transfers could affect the quality of water in South Florida, while potentially saving money for the area's taxpayers.

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