By Andy Reid
Sun Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale, FL
8:05 a.m. EDT, May 19, 2011
Lake Okeechobee’s declining water level strains urban and environmental water supplies alike, as South Florida waits for drought-quenching summer rains to bring relief.
Lake Okeechobee serves as South Florida’s primary back-up water supply, but on Wednesday it neared the point where it would drop too low to keep sending water south.
That heightens the difficulty for the South Florida Water Management District to meet the sometimes competing water needs of the environment, agriculture and community supplies.
The lake hit 10.57 feet Wednesday, 4 feet lower than this time last year and 2.7 feet below normal.