A large part of water management is based on flood control …
But can vice versa too much development also affect the rain?
|Southwest coast has been rainy:|
Click on map to see a rain chart for your area
It is my understanding that urbanization in particularly on east coast and agricultural conversion of wetlands to dry ground has robbed Florida’s famed wet season clouds of one of their primary sources of fuel. Also factoring in is our warming climate which scientists have suggested will give us wetter winters but also shorten the duration of our wet season which, in sum, will result in a net loss.
Then enter canals and levees:
They drain water out to sea (fast!) and also constrain the foot print water can spread out on. That’s resulted in many sloughs and strands becoming disconnected from their upstream ‘slow-drip” sources, and turned coastal estuaries into sacrificial dumping grounds where the big rain weeks and months short circuit through before getting lost to sea. Restoration lies in finding ways to hold back the water from the coast (a technical term hydrologists call “inland storage”), and saving it so it can be soaked in and slow dripped south.
|Levees and canals as seen near Forty Mile Bend, looking northeast|
The end result is a warped sense of the weather.
We hope beyond hope for the perfect storm (i.e., monthly, seasonal, and yearly rainfall) to somehow save the day and replenish our watersheds to the precise thresholds we divine.
Meanwhile, Hurricane Season lurks, or as Floridians like to say:
“We could use the rain, just not the wind.”
Here's some recent newspaper articles on the topic:
Water Storage Problematic for South Florida
Andy Reid, Sun Sentinel
Despite inland water shortfall, stormwater rushes out to sea ...
Chris Stapleton, Palm Beach Post