June 26, 2012

While tropical storm Debby provided increased rainfall to the region, it was not enough to recover from drought conditions.

That’s why the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board voted today to extend its Modified Phase I water shortage order for the District’s southern and eastern portions.

Modified Phase I restrictions were extended until Dec. 31 for Charlotte, DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, Manatee, Polk and Sarasota counties.

Counties currently under the Phase I order follow the District’s year-round water conservation measures. That means lawn and landscape watering is limited to a two-day-per-week schedule and residents may only water before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.

However, some local governments, such as Sarasota County, have stricter local ordinances limiting watering to one day per week. Residents should check with their local government or utility.

While the southern region did see rainfall from Tropical Storm Debby, key hydrologic indicators remain below normal in the region due to long-term drought effects. The region needs above-normal precipitation throughout the rainy season for the area to totally recover from drought conditions.

“The District looks at an eight-week average to evaluate recovery instead of one weather event,” said Lois Sorensen, District demand management program manager.

For additional information about water restrictions and water conservation, please contact your local utility or visit the District’s website at WaterMatters.org/restrictions/.

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