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 County||DeSoto County||Hardee County||Hernando County|
|Hillsborough County||Manatee County||Pasco County||Pinellas County|
|Polk County||Sarasota County||Sumter County||Portions of Charlotte County|
|Highlands County||Lake County||Marion County|
and The Villages)
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.