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July 31, 2007

The Southwest Florida Water Management Districtís Governing Board voted Tuesday to extend the current Water Shortage Order, which restricts lawn watering throughout the District to one-day-per-week, until Sept. 30.

The original declaration of water shortage, which was ordered by District Executive Director David L. Moore, went into effect Jan. 16 and was slated to expire July 31.

The Governing Board chose to extend the water shortage order after an in-depth presentation by staff outlining the depressed hydrologic conditions in the District.

Provisional information as of June 30 shows all 16 counties within the District are experiencing an annual average rainfall deficit of approximately 11.8 inches. The Green Swamp Basin, which is the headwaters for the Withlacoochee, Hillsborough and Peace rivers, has a 16.1-inch rainfall deficit. Average rainfall is measured as a twelve-month moving sum.

While the recent rainfall has contributed to raised groundwater levels, all 16 counties within the District are experiencing below-normal groundwater conditions. The northern region of the District is experiencing conditions categorized as critically abnormal while the central and southern regions of the counties are experiencing conditions categorized as severely abnormal.

All major rivers within the District are experiencing below-normal conditions. This includes rivers associated with the Districts three largest surface water-dependent public supply systems.

The order includes restrictions that apply to the use of water from public and private water utilities as well as the use of all wells and surface water sources(ponds, rivers, etc.).

The following is a schedule and summary of the restrictions unless your city or county has a different once-per-week schedule or more stringent restrictions.

Addresses with ďhouse numbersĒ may only irrigate on:
Ending in 0 or 1 Monday
Ending in 2 or 3 Tuesday
Ending in 4 or 5 Wednesday
Ending in 6 or 7 Thursday
Ending in 8 or 9 Friday

Lawn & Landscape Watering

*If your city or county has a different once-per-week schedule in effect, your watering day will remain the same.

*Unless your city or county already has stricter hours in effect, properties under two acres in size may only water before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m.

*Variances are available if a property proposes an alternative irrigation plan (such as splitting a large property into two pieces and assigning a different day to each piece).

*Handwatering or microirrigation of non-lawn landscape is allowed.

*Certain exemptions are available, such as allowances for new plant material.

For more information about water restrictions, please visit the Districtís web site or call 1-800-848-0499 or 1-800-423-1476, extension 4498, during normal business hours. To learn more about how you can conserve water, visit the Districtís web site at

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