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Sunday, July 08, 2007
St. Cloud Times | AP News
This article discusses the drought in Florida and the search for storage north of Lake Okeechobee. What it does not address is the fact that what is known as "The Upper Chain of Lakes" could have adequate storage but their use is severely limited because development has been allowed to occur on the shorelines. Intensive use of the shorelines by private owners limits the lakes use for water storage. If the stage in the lakes is allowed to fluctuate outside of a narrow range the land owners raise hell. They have boats and docks all along the shorelines so if the stage is allowed to go too low they cannot get their boats in the water and their docks do not reach the water. If the stage is allowed to go high enough for some additional storage then their docks and yards are flooded. This essentially eliminates using the many lakes in the Orlando and Kissimmee areas for much storage. Restoration of the Kissimmee River back to a more meandering state with marshes is a worthwhile effort but lets point to the real problem, development of the shorelines in the Upper Chain of Lakes.