Feasibility Study:
Water Preserve Areas Feasibility Study

The Water Preserve Areas (WPAs) Feasibility study investigated concepts to capture and store excess surface waters by backpumping water from the lower east coast urban areas that is normally discharged to tide via the Central and Southern Florida (C&SF) Project canal system. The reconnaissance and feasibility phase of the C&SF Project Review Study demonstrated that the WPA concept is an integral part of the Everglades restoration plan.

Study Info

Ecologic restoration of the Everglades will require a significant increase in water quantity. Water Preserve Areas provide a critical source for this new water by:

  1. reducing undesirable losses from the natural system through seepage and

  2. a means of backpumping stormwater runoff that was previous discharged to tide providing a new source of water.

Further, development continues to encroach on the remaining natural areas adjacent to the Everglades. These remaining wetland areas could serve a critical role in the restoration of the Everglades by increasing the overall spatial extent.

The WPA study also addresses other water-related needs such as urban/agricultural water supply and water quality. The WPAs also provides a mechanism for increased aquifer recharge and surface water storage capacity to enhance regional water supplies for the lower east coast urban areas, thereby reducing demands in an already degraded natural system.

The Water Preserve Areas are located within Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties east of the Water Conservation Areas and generally west of existing developed areas (Figure 1).

Figure 1 - Location
water preserve area feasibility study Figure 1 map graphic

Relationship With Comprehensive Plan

The Water Preserve Areas Feasibility Study was accomplished in conjunction with the Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan reexamined the portions of the C&SF Project specific to Lake Okeechobee, Everglades Agricultural Area, Water Conservation Areas, Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, and Native American tribal lands, to determine the feasibility of structural or operational modifications essential to restoration of the Everglades and Florida Bay ecosystems while providing for other water-related needs to include water supply, water quality, and flood damage prevention. The benefits associated with the WPAs include

  1. reducing drainage of the Everglades and reestablishing natural hydropatterns within existing natural areas

  2. providing for the creation of water storage systems (reservoirs), thereby reducing demand on the natural system

  3. providing short hydroperiod wetlands to increase spatial extent

  4. providing a buffer between the Everglades and the increasingly urbanized lower east coast area

  5. providing for improved water supply to the lower east coast.

Plan Evaluation

With the help of new technology and increased agency partnerships, the multi-agency Water Preserve Areas Team and the public can use the Internet to evaluate comprehensive alternative plans. The Internet effort will not replace the legal requirement under the National Environmental Policy Act for public review and comment. We will still hold traditional public workshops upon completion of the draft feasibility report scheduled for summer 2001.

Due to the large number of people potentially affected and the complexity of the south Florida ecosystem, the Corps and its multi-agency study team partners seek input from as broad a base as possible. The use of the Internet is meant to help reach as many interested parties as possible and get their input on the alternatives as they are formulated.

Between October 1999 and October 2000, alternative plans will be formulated and evaluated. Since the Comprehensive Plan determined the best plan to meet the study goals and objectives of the south Florida ecosystem, it is the purpose of this feasibility study to provide the mechanism for documenting additional efforts required for the continuation of project development. That is, this study will bridge the gap between the conceptual design and the detailed design.

When you select the Water Preserve Areas Hydrologic Evaluation on the Table of Contents, you will be accessing information that is considered by the Water Preserve Areas Team to be a preliminary work in-progress. The long-term goal of the Water Preserve Areas Team is to use this site to not only develop and conduct its evaluation of the alternative plans, but also to solicit input from the public. On-line documentation provides complete instructions on getting started.

Water Preserve Area Feasibility Study
Draft Document

The Water Preserve Area Feasibility Study Draft Document provides the basis of information for the PIRs that will be developed for the following projects:

Broward Miami-Dade Counties Component Map

View or download a high resolution version (930 kb, JPG)

Components-Broward Miami-Dade Counties Map

Palm Beach County Component Map

View or download a high resolution version (807 kb, JPG)

Components-Palm Beach County Map




Study Contacts:

Steve Baisden
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Janet Starnes
South Florida Water Management District

Related Links & Study Documents: