As the former Assistant Executive Director of South Florida Water Management District, my knowledge is extensive. Indian Trails Grove propertyIt would bring water resources benefits to Palm Beach County as well as the region. The property is ideally situated adjacent to the L-8, M-8 and M canals. It could play a pivotal part in water storage, quality, distribution with potential benefits for the Lake Worth Lagoon.
The benefits could be realized in partnership with South Florida Water Management, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan Loxahatchee River Plan. The 1,600 acres could also be used to impound water and distribute cleaner water to Loxahatchee River via C-18 and M-O canals.
Another option is to create a stand-alone project in Palm Beach County that would provide significant benefit. In particular, the County could construct a shallow impoundment on 1,600 acres. This would provide both more immediate benefits and help to supplement any benefits that the agencies may achieve later. Additionally, Lake Okeechobee discharges during high Lake Okeechobee levels could be intercepted by the County and stored on the 1,600 acre. This would reduce harmful discharges to Lake Worth Lagoon. Water could be treated on the 1,600-acres and distributed to the Grassy Waters Preserve. This would use the M canal to deliver clean water to West Palm residents and the C-18 canal to distribute cleaner water to the Loxahatchee river.
The most difficult and contentious part of implementing a successful water resource projects is often obtaining the land. But there are many options. Like any real estate issue location, utility, and availability are crucial. This property meets all these criteria. This strategically located property should not only be considered but fully understood in order to improve the water resources in Palm Beach County and the surrounding area.
The County Commissioners should submit a land exchange proposal for review. This site could be a valuable resource to Palm Beach County.
Ernie Barnett, from Stuart, is president, Water and Land Advisors, Inc.of West Palm Beach.