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EAA farmers celebrate another record year of clean water flowing south

Extending a two-decade record for Everglades restoration south of Lake Okeechobee, a group of farmers — armed with an effective water quality treatment strategy — have posted historic water-quality performance levels in 2017, sending more clean water than ever flowing south.

Seizing on numbers announced this week by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) farmers are celebrating their role in more than 20 years of restoration, by delivering increasingly clean water to the Everglades.

Concern over reservoir plan for Lake Okeechobee

Talks over permanently reducing discharges east and west of Lake Okeechobee are heating up.

Particularly over a plan for a new reservoir south of the lake.

Read more from WPTV.

Okeechobee community encouraged to ‘speak up’ for agriculture

As Okeechobee community members gathered at the KOA Convention Center for the Farm City luncheon on Thursday, they reinforced the community’s support for agriculture.

Read more from Okeechobee News.

DEP: Sewage spills into Indian River Lagoon by Fort Pierce utility violated permit

The Fort Pierce Utilities Authority has been cited by the state for spills totaling about 10.5 million gallons of treated and untreated sewage at the wastewater treatment plant and several lift stations.

Read more from the TCPalm.

Florida agriculture still reeling from Irma damage, relief sought

Most years attendees at the annual Farm-City Week luncheon at the South Florida Fairgrounds leave with a box full of locally-grown produce such as sweet corn, green beans, peppers and radishes.

At the annual event held Wednesday that didn’t happen. That’s because Hurricane Irma’s arrival Sept. 10 left Palm Beach County’s farms flooded and soggy, delaying planting. More rain since then has exacerbated the situation, but crops, including the county’s famous sweet corn, are coming along. However, they will arrive in stores later than usual, growers said.

Read more from the Palm Beach Post.

Peterson: Strengthening dike saves lives, the environment

Kudos to Governor Rick Scott. He truly gets it when it comes to the Herbert Hoover Dike. Last week, he announced his intent to ask the Florida Legislature to set aside $50 million to expedite repairs to the dike, which is South Florida’s protection from Lake Okeechobee flooding.

Read more in the News-Press.

Lake Okeechobee flow: Why not clean it north?

OKEECHOBEE — In all of the public meetings about the level of Lake Okeechobee, amid discussion of harmful releases to the coastal estuaries, storage reservoirs, Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) wells and Deep Well Injection options, one question always comes up, and is never answered: “Why isn’t water cleaned BEFORE it goes into Lake Okeechobee?” This may be followed by a related question: “Why isn’t water cleaned BEFORE it goes into the Kissimmee River?”

Read more from Okeechobee News.

Florida Chamber calls for science-based solutions to water issues

OKEECHOBEE — “Sound water science – not political science – is the way to secure the state’s water future,” said Mark Wilson, president of the Florida Chamber.

“If you think about Florida’s future, more people are going to need more water,” he said.

“That means we need to focus on securing Florida’s water future.”

Read more from the Okeechobee News.

Florida Chamber: Lake Okeechobee reservoir diverts focus from septic-to-sewer conversions

Surrounded by scientists and politicians making a pitch for septic-to-sewer conversions, the head of the Florida Chamber of Commerce called for “focusing on water science, not political science.”

Converting homes on septic tanks to municipal sewer systems “is not a silver bullet, and it won’t solve all of Florida’s water problems,” Chamber President and CEO Mark Wilson said Wednesday, “but it’s a very important piece of the pie.”

Read more from TCPalm.

South Florida Wringing out From Record-Setting Wet Season

When Florida farmers say it was a water-logged summer, they’re not kidding. According to the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), the region is coming off its most prolific wet season on record. From June through October, an average of 51.64 inches of rain (150% above average) fell Districtwide.

Read more from Growing Produce.