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Proposed Lake Okeechobee dam to bring more water to the Everglades

A proposed dam for Lake Okeechobee could increase the flow of water to the Everglades by over 120 billion gallons a year.

The lake feeds water sources all over the state, including the Caloosahatchee River.

However, the development of a dam could reduce discharge from the lake.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate Environmental and Public Works committee introduced the Water and Infrastructure Act which would speed up the project.

The South Florida Water Management District submitted the report to the U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works.

“This legislation is also about health and safety,” Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) said. “It includes provisions to repair old drinking water and wastewater systems, protecting communities from contaminated water sources.”

The plan for the dam is to build an approximately 23-foot deep reservoir and a 6,500-acre marsh to help reduce water releases and clean water before it gets to the Everglades.

This will reduce discharge by 63% and send over 120 billion gallons of clean water south to the Central Everglades, according to the project study .

The net increase in cost over the current Central Everglades Planning Project is estimated at around $1.1 billion.

A decision on the bill will be made by the committee by the end of the month. Then it goes to the Senate.