Water Shortage Warning
Worsening drought conditions have triggered a water shortage warning throughout Florida.
“Volunteering to reduce water use and conserve as much water as possible will help ease the strain placed on our water supply,” reminds Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent homeowners insurance agency.
90 percent of water used in homes and businesses comes from groundwater or aquifers. With some counties seeing only half the average rainfall amounts this year, groundwater and surface water levels are lower than usual.
The U.S. Drought Monitor puts 66 percent of the state experiencing a drought with over 39 percent suffering severe drought conditions. Florida’s drought conditions are due to lower than average rainfall amounts, low humidity and high winds.
The state has also experienced a highly active fire season with over 2,000 wildfires reported this year by the Florida Forest Service. Many counties have issued a burn ban prohibiting open fires outside. The ban does not apply to grills and barbecue pits.
Along with burn bans, many counties are under water shortage orders that could develop into mandatory orders soon. The Southwest Florida Water Management District issued a modified Phase 1 water shortage order to their 16 south Florida counties. Up north, the Suwannee River Water Management District and the St. Johns River Water Management District have also issued orders.
Water shortage orders necessitate residents to water their lawns twice a week on their designated watering days, this extends to landscape irrigation users. To find your designated days, click on the links above.
The counties also request residents to implement water conservation practices including:
Equip your hoses with an automatic shut-off
Only water your lawn and landscaping when needed
Plant native and drought tolerant vegetation
Fix any leaky pipes
Turn off the water when brushing your teeth
Time your showers
If the water shortage persists, Florida counties may consider mandatory restrictions.