Florida Trend | Florida's Business Authority

SFWMD Issues Environmental Resource Permit Clearing Path for Alico To Deliver Water Storage Project in Caloosahatchee Watershed

West Palm Beach, FL - The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) issued an environmental resource permit (ERP) to Alico Inc., allowing the private landowner to provide a dispersed water management project that will store approximately 92,000 acre-feet of water on an annual average basis on its property, including approximately 56,000 acre-feet of water from the Caloosahatchee River.

"By approving their permit application for this critical project, the west coast communities will receive additional relief from local basin runoff and regulatory releases from Lake Okeechobee," said SFWMD Executive Director Ernie Marks. "We look forward to our partners expediting construction so that we can realize this much needed relief as soon as possible."

Alico submitted an application for a project that would turn 35,186 acres of agricultural land within the East Caloosahatchee, Okaloacoochee Slough and C-139 East Ranch drainage basins into a water storage project. The primary objective of the project is to pump excess water from the Caloosahatchee River during wet periods when that water is not needed by the river and estuary and store it on Alico's property.

The project is intended to reduce excess water deliveries to the estuary and help improve water quality to assist in meeting Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) limits for nutrients in the Caloosahatchee River.

Now that SFWMD has issued the ERP, Alico has received all of the state authorizations required. Project operation is estimated to begin one year from start of construction.