Water Project

Integrated Water Resource Management

City of Cape Coral Charlotte County and Lee County, FL

Solution Overview


City of Cape Coral

Business Challenge:

  • The City’s canal system was meeting its water supply capacity each season
  • Water sources flowing between two counties complicated the permitting process


  • Converted a mine reservoir into seasonal storage
  • Obtained a water use permit to address jurisdictional issues of moving water between counties


  • The permit secured 1.6 billion gallons of water supply to the City


The City of Cape Coral has a fully integrated water resource management system that involves separation of inside and outside uses of water; inside demands are met by desalination of brackish groundwater and outside demands are met by full usage of the City’s generated municipal wastewater which is supplemented by use of the City’s vast canal network for stormwater harvesting. While that system has worked well for nearly 30 years, growth in the City caused the canal system to experience its limits on at least a seasonal basis. A mining pit near Babcock Webb Wildlife Management Area was converted to an off-line reservoir for use by the City to augment its water supply. The storage area also provided storage to relieve flooding of Babcock Webb. Conditions which complicated the permitting process included the water source originating in the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), flowing into Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD), and flowing back into SFWMD. Additionally, the water, which originated and was stored in Charlotte County, was used by Cape Coral, located in Lee County. These factors necessitated extensive community outreach efforts to communicate the benefits of the project to concerned stakeholders.


The converted mine reservoir was seen as a potential seasonal source and the City’s user rate structure provided the funds needed to acquire and convert the mine into an effective seasonal storage and conveyance operation. Water Science Associates, an Apex company, designed the mine conversion and obtained a water use permit for the reservoir which addressed jurisdictional issues of moving water between two State Water Management Districts and two counties.


The permit enabled the City to secure 1.6 billion gallons of water supply for the City of Cape Coral while providing a section of conveyance needed to deliver water from the flooded Babcock Webb Wildlife Management Area to the drained Yucca Pens Wildlife Management Area.

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