TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Southwest Florida Water Management District declared a water shortage on Tuesday, affecting all Tampa Bay area counties and portions of southwest Florida.

According to a release from the district, the region experienced dry conditions and a 9.2-inch deficit this year, compared to the average yearly rainfall totals. The district reported declining water levels in the region’s aquifers, rivers and lakes.

The Modified Phase I Water Shortage order is in effect from Nov. 21 through July 1, 2024 and applies to the following counties:

Citrus CountyDeSoto CountyHardee CountyHernando County
Hillsborough CountyManatee CountyPasco CountyPinellas County
Polk CountySarasota CountySumter CountyPortions of Charlotte County
Highlands CountyLake CountyMarion County
and The Villages)
Gasparilla Island,
Lee County

The order prohibits “wasteful and unnecessary” water use and continues twice-per-week lawn watering restrictions that are already in effect.

Refer to the graphic below to see the status of your county:

Beginning Dec. 1, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties will be limited to once-per-week lawn watering. According to the district, “Tampa Bay Water, which supplies water to most of the three-county area, was unable to completely refill the 15-billion-gallon C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir this summer due to the lower-than-normal rainfall.”

Once-per-week lawn watering days and times are as follows. If the address (house number) ends in…

  • 0 or 1, water only on Monday
  • 2 or 3, water only on Tuesday
  • 4 or 5, water only on Wednesday
  • 6 or 7, water only on Thursday
  • 8 or 9*, water only on Friday (includes locations without a discernible address)

The restriction does not apply if a city or county has a different schedule or stricter hours in effect. According to the district, Citrus, Hernando and Sarasota counties, and the cities of Dunedin and Venice, have local ordinances and remain on one-day-per-week schedules.

The district also implemented the following restrictions based on property size:

  • Properties under two acres in size may only water before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m.
  • Properties two acres or larger may only water before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
  • Low-volume watering of plants and shrubs (micro-irrigation, soaker hoses, hand watering) is allowed any day and any time

For more information about water restrictions, visit the district’s website.