Water-Related News

Project proposed to store more water in Polk

Roger Griffiths regularly talks about ways to help Polk County's water supply problems by storing more water locally.

He has often clashed with officials at the Southwest Florida Water Management District over this issue, especially when it comes to regulating water releases from structures within the Lake Region Lakes Management District where he serves as executive director.

Now Griffiths has come up with a plan he said is supported by one of Swiftmud's own studies dating from 2005 that involves converting a pasture through which a World War I-era Wahneta Farms canal from the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes into a proposed 150-acre wetlands treatment area off of Rifle Range Road.

The treated water then would be released downstream into 512-acre Lake McLeod in Eagle Lake, which Griffiths said would provide increased recharge into the Floridan aquifer.

The project also could aid in restoring Lake McLeod's lake level to the minimum level established by Swiftmud officials, said Mark Hammond, director of the agency's Resource Management Division.

Swiftmud officials have set the minimum level of the lake at 128.2 feet above sea level, which is above the level it has been at in recent years.