Water Shortage Warning Order expanded to all counties within the district

PALATKA, Fla., May 9, 2017 — As hydrologic trends reflect below-average rainfall across the district, the St. Johns River Water Management District Governing Board approved expanding the current Water Shortage Warning Order to include all areas within the district’s 18-county jurisdiction.

“Water conservation is at the core of our mission and right now we need all hands on deck to secure our water supply during this drought,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “The prospect of prolonged drought is a reminder that we must work together. Everyone has the power to take action and help ensure we use water wisely to safeguard future supplies.”

The objective of the Water Shortage Warning Order is to reduce water use and ensure enough water is available to meet demand. As a result of the order, all water users are encouraged to reduce their water use and to voluntarily conserve water to the maximum extent possible. Additionally, water used for landscape irrigation should not exceed two designated days each week and occur only before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m., as outlined in the district’s year-round watering restrictions. Outdoor irrigation accounts for half of all residential water use so it’s a logical place to focus on reducing use.

Although hydrologic conditions have not yet reached the point where there is an insufficient volume of water to meet anticipated demands and protect the water resources, current conditions warrant heightened water conservation awareness in all areas within the district.

A hydrological report outlining rainfall totals was presented at the May Governing Board meeting. Examples of rainfall totals and trends include:

  • The counties with the least rainfall were Orange, Brevard, Osceola, and Okeechobee counties which each received less than one inch during May.
  • Highest rainfalls occurred in Clay, with 3.08 inches, St. Johns, with 3.11 inches, Alachua County with 3.95 inches.
  • Southern Duval and Baker counties also received above-average rainfall, with 2.77 inches and 3.41 inches, respectively.

In April, the district enacted a burn ban for all district-owned properties due to dry conditions that are favorable to wildfire.

More information about water shortage warnings can be found online at www.sjrwmd.com/facts.