The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s (District) Governing Board voted today to declare a Phase I Water Shortage for the District’s central and southern regions, which include Charlotte, DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas and Sarasota counties.
The primary purpose for a Phase I water shortage is to alert the public that watering restrictions could be forthcoming.
The order also requires local utilities to review and implement procedures for enforcing year-round water conservation measures and water shortage restrictions, including reporting enforcement activity to the District.
A Phase I water shortage order does not change allowable watering schedules, however it does prohibit “wasteful and unnecessary” water use.
The District considers both natural water resource conditions and the viability of public water supplies when deciding to declare a water shortage order – that means, restricting the amount of water the public can use.
The District has worked diligently with our partners to implement water conservation programs and develop alternative water supplies. Even though we are experiencing drought conditions, there is still an adequate water supply available to the public.
Florida’s dry season runs October through May and April is historically one of the driest months of the year. The District encourages water conservation year-round, and offers many tips to reduce water use and additional information on our website at WaterMatters.org/Conservation.