Falling water levels and extremely dry conditions that are expected to linger led the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board to issue a water shortage warning last week to all 8.1 million residents in the agency’s 16 counties.
“The purpose of this warning is to urge South Florida families to voluntarily conserve more water,” said SFWMD Governing Board Chairman Dan O’Keefe. “This effort will help your water supply last through the remainder of the dry season.”
The most beneficial conservation practice is compliance with the District’s year-round landscape irrigation conservation measures and any local landscape irrigation ordinance. These rules can be found at www.sfwmd.gov/mywateringdays. If voluntary water conservation efforts prove insufficient, the Governing Board may consider further mandatory water use restrictions to equitably distribute the remaining water supplies and prevent serious harm to water resources.
The Governing Board has also issued a temporary ban on all open fires and campfires on District lands. The ban includes lands open for recreational purposes in Hendry, Glades, Okeechobee, Osceola and Polk counties. Additionally, SFWMD’s prohibitions could be expanded to other locations throughout the District if drought conditions continue.
The wet season typically begins June 1.
- March only saw 34 percent of average rainfall District-wide
- This is 1.88 inches below average
- Miami-Dade County was the only area from Orlando to the Keys that received near normal rainfall
- Since the start of the dry season on Nov. 1, SFWMD has only seen 44 percent of average rainfall
- This is 6.75 inches below average
Fort Myers Beach Water Restrictions
The Town of Fort Myers Beach has had Phase II Mandatory Water Restrictions in place since March 26, 2011, limiting outdoor water use.
As approximately half of all drinking water is used for landscape irrigation, restrictions focus on that. Those restrictions limit landscape irrigation to two days per week from midnight to 10 am or 4pm to midnight. Addresses that end in an even number are allowed to water on Thursday and/or Sunday. Addresses that end in an odd number may water on Wednesday and/or Saturday. Hand watering with one hose and an automatic shut off nozzle is allowed on the same days.
New plantings/landscaping may be watered every day but Friday for their first 30 days. From 31-90 days they may be watered Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.
For more information on Fort Myers Beach water restrictions call Beach Water, 239-463-9914 or visit www.fortmyersbeachfl.gov and select Beach Water Utility.