and cumulative effects deriving from several projects that have important implications for progress in restoring the natural system.

Aquifer Storage and Recovery

Storage of water is at the heart of the effort to restore the Everglades. A brief examination of the CERP components (Figure 2-4) shows that most of them either directly or indirectly involve storage. Water storage components in the CERP include existing facilities (Lake Okeechobee and the Water Conservation Areas [WCAs]) and new components consisting of conventional aboveground surface reservoirs, in-ground storage in limestone quarries in the Lake Belt region west of Miami, and belowground storage using ASR. ASR represents about 26 percent of new water storage capacity, considering expected inflows to storage during a year of average rainfall (see Table 5-1). Although smaller than the new surface reservoir storage, all storage is important to the CERP, and alternatives to 573,310 acre-feet per year of ASR storage are not readily available. Additional water will also be made available through seepage management and water reuse and conservation projects. Strictly speaking, seepage management and water reuse are not water storage projects, but they affect the overall water budget and ultimately the amount of storage required for restoration of the natural system (see NRC [2005] for further discussion on the role of ASR and other project components to meet the CERP’s storage needs).

ASR involves pumping water into subsurface aquifers through deep wells for storage and then recovering the water when it is needed by extract-

TABLE 5-1 Average Storage Capacitya of CERP Storage Components

Storage Component

Average Annual Acre-feet of Storage

Percent of Total Storage

Percent of New Storage

Lake Okeechobeeb

2,537,300

40

 

Water Conservation Areasb

1,633,200

26

 

Conventional Surface Reservoirs

1,279,270

20

59

Aquifer Storage and Recovery

573,310

9

26

In-ground Reservoirs

323,100

5

15

Total

 

 

100

aDefined as expected inflows to storage during a year of average rainfall.

bNo new storage is provided by these two components under CERP, but modified operating schedules have been developed through modeling.

SOURCE: NRC (2005).



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