The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s (District) Governing Board voted on February 28, 2017 to declare a Phase I Water Shortage effective March 10 for portions of Lake, Marion and Sumter counties. Due to an Interagency Agreement with the St. Johns River Water Management District, this order in Marion County would be limited to the city of Dunellon and the area encompassed by The Villages.
The District monitors regional drought indicators. Currently, groundwater levels in Lake County are extremely abnormal and levels in Marion and Sumter counties are classified as severely abnormal. In addition, short- and long-term flows of the Withlacoochee River and 12-month and 24-month rainfall levels in all three counties are severely abnormal.
Phase I water shortage order does not change allowable watering schedules from current year-round conservation measures. The primary purpose for a Phase I water shortage is to alert the public in a specified area that additional watering restrictions could be forthcoming. The order also requires local utilities to review and implement procedures for enforcing year-round water conservation measures and water shortage restrictions, including reporting enforcement activity to the District.
For additional information on the Phase I water shortage and year-round conservation measures, please visit WaterMatters.org/Restrictions.