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District Declares Phase II Water Shortage in Tampa Bay Area

December 17, 2013

The District’s Governing Board voted today to declare a Phase II Water Shortage and implement one-day-per-week watering restrictions in the Tampa Bay area due to reduced river levels and increasing water supply concerns.

The Governing Board enacted Phase II restrictions for lawn watering throughout Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties. The tighter restrictions begin Dec. 26 and take into account that the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir is currently under renovation. That means water from the Alafia River was not stored during the summer rainy season for use during the subsequent dry season. The C.W. Bill Young Reservoir is a major water supply source for Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties.

Under Phase II restrictions, the lawn watering schedule is reduced to once-per-week and allowable watering hours also are reduced. Micro-irrigation and hand watering of non-lawn areas still are allowed any day, if needed. The once-per-week schedule will remain in effect through March 1, 2014.

District Chairman Carlos Beruff said, “We are asking residents to be prudent with their water use, especially outdoor irrigation, at this time. During the winter months you can often skip a week or more, as most lawns and landscape plants do not need as much water.”

Twice-per-week lawn watering schedules remain in effect for Charlotte, Citrus, Desoto, Hardee, Highlands, Lake, Levy, Manatee, Polk and Sumter Counties, also including The City of Dunnellon and The Villages in Marion County.
Other portions of Marion County and the City of Ocala follow restrictions set by the St. Johns River Water Management District.

Some local governments including Hernando and Sarasota counties have local ordinances and remain on once-per-week watering schedules. Residents should always check with their local utility because some have a different schedule or more stringent restrictions.

Click here for more details on the restrictions for all areas.