The Sarasota Journal

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Swiftmud declares water shortage

BROOKSVILLE –– Water restrictions could be coming in the near future.

The board of directors for the Southwest Florida Water Management District, commonly known as Swiftmud, took the first step in that direction Wednesday by declaring a Phase 1 water shortage for the district’s southern and central regions.

That order applies to residents of Sarasota and Charlotte counties, as well as Manatee, DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco and Pinellas counties.

By declaring that a water shortage is in existence, the agency is placing the public on notice that watering restrictions are forthcoming.

While the declaration does not change existing rules regarding watering, it does prohibit “wasteful and unnecessary” water uses, such as washing the driveway, according to a district press release.

The water shortage 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.

“The District has worked diligently with our partners to implement water conservation programs and develop alternative water supplies. Even though we are experiencing drought conditions, there is still an adequate water supply available to the public,” the release stated.

Florida is currently in its dry season, which runs from October through May. April, as witness by the lack of rainfall this month, is typically the driest month of the year in Florida.

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Warren Richardson
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