District Declares Phase II Water Shortage in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas

News Release

The "Southwest Florida Water Management District's Governing Board ":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/about/governingboard/ 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 December 26 and take into account that the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir is currently under renovation, meaning that water from the Alafia River was not able to be 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 are also 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 such as Hernando and Sarasota counties and the cities of Brooksville, Longboat Key and Venice have local ordinances and choose to remain on one-day-per-week restrictions.

For additional information on the Phase II water shortage please visit "http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/conservation/restrictions/phase2.php":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/conservation/restrictions/phase2.php. For more information about water restrictions and water conservation, please contact your local utility or visit the District's website at "http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/conservation/restrictions/swfwmd.php":http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/conservation/restrictions/swfwmd.php.