Tampa Bay Water Restrictions Tightened
Lawn watering is limited to once a week and allowable watering hours are also reduced.
TAMPA BAY – The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s governing board voted today (May 23) to tighten water restrictions throughout the region because of continued dry conditions.
In all, 16 counties in the district’s boundaries are affected: Charlotte, Citrus, DeSoto, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota and Sumter.
District hydrologists report a rainfall deficit of 11 inches since the start of the dry season last October. This is the driest dry season in the past 103 years.
Under the new water shortage order, lawn watering is reduced to once-per-week and allowable watering hours also are reduced. Micro-irrigation and hand watering of non-lawn areas are still allowed any day, if needed. Additionally, there are now limits on car washing and homeowners’ associations may not enforce any deed restrictions that could cause an increase in water use. The restrictions will remain in effect through Aug. 1. Additional details regarding the watering of new lawns and plants, reclaimed water and other water uses can be found at WaterMatters.org/restrictions.
The district, or SWIFTMUD, considers both natural water resource conditions and the viability of public supply when deciding to declare a water shortage order. For the past 20 years, the District has worked diligently with its partners to develop alternative water supplies. Even though the region is experiencing drought conditions, there is adequate public water supply available.
Florida’s dry season runs October through May. SWIFTMUD encourages water conservation year-round, and offers many tips to reduce water use and additional information at WaterMatters.org/conservation.
For information about the district, go to swfwmd.state.fl.us.
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