A new plan has been brought to action to convert two groves into reservoirs. The grooves are in The Indian River Lagoon and they plan on turning the old citrus groves into “water farms”.
The conversions will take an estimated $22.2 million and take 3 years to complete. Why is this being done? It will be done to help decrease a disease that kills fruit trees and profits as well as stop the tide of toxic algae entering the lagoons.
“On Jan. 12, the St. Johns River Water Management District’s Governing Board voted to move forward with two pilot projects to curb excess nitrogen and phosphorus from going into the lagoon. The plan would reduce freshwater flow and thousands of pounds of the two nutrients, which can trigger algae blooms that kill fish, seagrass and other lagoon life.”
The two water farms will be built in two rural locations in Indian River County. The reservoirs that will be created will be able to hold 3-4 feet of water during any heavy weather. The first location is called FLV and is 1,6000 acres south of C-54 canal and six miles from I-95. The second location is called Graves site and is 200 acres south of 84th st. and 3 miles from I-95.
Water farming means that farmers get to douse out citrus greening diseases. Farmers can also use these reservoirs to store tainted water from their farmland. This water has an excessive amount of phosphorus and nitrogen from fertilizers.
The main problem of why the grooves are being created is because of citrus greening. Citrus greening is a bacterial disease and is spread by an Asian insect. This disease has effects millions of acres of citrus in America. It changes the taste of the fruit to a bitter taste and will eventually kill the tree.
This project will help nearby farmlands store water when they might not originally be able to. The two farms combined will store 23 million gallons of water daily. These will help decrease the annual phosphorus and nitrogen that needs to be removed.