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Practical Information for Florida Environmental Professionals

News Update

SWFWMD declares Phase I water shortage

Staff Report

The Southwest Florida Water Management District's Governing Board voted to declare a Phase I water shortage for the District’s entire 16-county area beginning Dec. 1.

The Phase I alert is intended to raise the public's awareness of dry conditions, and to direct water utilities and their local governments to prepare for worsening conditions. Under Phase I, residents are asked to check their irrigation systems to ensure they are working properly. Residents should also check their irrigation timer to ensure the settings are correct and the rain sensor is working properly in accordance with state law.

Some local governments such as Hernando, Pasco and Sarasota counties have stricter local ordinances limiting lawn watering to one day per week, so residents should always check with their local government or utility.

Under Phase I, water utilities and their local governments are expected to review and revise water restriction enforcement procedures, begin monthly enforcement reporting and communicate with customers about water restrictions and water conservation.

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