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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Current Watering Restrictions: Charlotte County Florida

The following information was taken from the Charlotte county website:
February 24, 2009

Almost half of the counties within the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s 16-county region are now under a Phase III “Extreme” Water Shortage Alert.

The District identifies four possible levels of water shortage, beginning with “moderate” and increasing in intensity through “severe,” “extreme” and “critical.”

With river flows, aquifer levels, and lake levels remaining far below normal, the region’s water shortage status ranges from “severe” to “extreme.” The District’s color-coded Water Shortage Alert Map (attached) graphically identifies the status for each county in the District.
Tampa Bay RegionHillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas countiesExtreme (Red) Alert

The tri-county Tampa Bay area remains under an extreme water shortage alert. On a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 representing the lowest and 100 the highest, current Hillsborough and Alafia river flows are hovering around the 2nd percentile. Aquifer levels remain below normal, and lakes are averaging more than a foot and a half below the lowest normal readings. As of Feb. 23, Tampa Bay Water’s 15-billion-gallon C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir, which supplies the Tampa Bay area, was down to 520 million gallons of water, and is expected to be depleted by the end of March.

The District’s Governing Board voted Tuesday to enhance the District’s Modified Phase III (or Extreme) Water Shortage restrictions, which were first approved by the Board in October 2008. The Governing Board requested that Tampa Bay Water and its member governments more effectively implement the Phase III restrictions before the Board approves moving to Phase IV restrictions, which are the District’s highest level of water shortage measures.

“Our goal has been to reduce demand by 10 percent through conservation,” said David Moore, executive director. “We have achieved less than five percent. And while many people are working hard to conserve, there are others not doing their part.”

The enhanced restrictions approved by the Governing Board include:
Requiring water utilities and local governments to contact and strive to significantly reduce water use among their high-use customers.

Asking water utilities to consider implementing a drought surcharge for the same group of high-use customers.

Asking water utilities to consider implementing a reclaimed water availability fee as a means of encouraging customers with access to reclaimed water to hook up to the system.

Requiring restaurants to only serve water upon request.

For a complete list of the Modified Phase III water shortage restrictions, please see the attached fact sheet. These restrictions are in effect through June 30, 2009.

In addition to enhancing the Modified Phase III water shortage restrictions, the District has taken a series of emergency water supply measures to assist Tampa Bay Water (the regional wholesale supplier for the Tampa Bay area) including:

Allowing Tampa Bay Water to increase withdrawals from the Tampa Bypass Canal to help meet the city of Tampa and the region’s potable water demand.

Allowing increased withdrawals from the Alafia River when sufficient flows are available.

Testing the possibility of using the Morris Bridge Sinkhole as a potential temporary water supply.

Allowing the City of Tampa to withdraw water from Sulfur Springs to augment its reservoir.

Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority RegionCharlotte, DeSoto, Manatee and Sarasota countiesExtreme (Red) Alert

The four-county area is now under an extreme water shortage alert. On a scale of 0 to 100, with 0 representing the lowest and 100 the highest, current Peace River flows are hovering around the 6th percentile. Aquifer levels are well below normal, and lakes are averaging more than four feet below the lowest normal readings.

Like the Tampa Bay region, the Authority’s area will now follow the District’s Modified Phase III (or Extreme) Water Shortage restrictions. The District’s Governing Board approved this change on Tuesday.

For a complete list of the Modified Phase III water shortage restrictions, please see the attached fact sheet. These water restrictions are in effect through June 30, 2009.

In addition to declaring the Modified Phase III Water Shortage, the District has taken a series of emergency water supply measures to assist the Peace River/Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority (the wholesale water supplier for much of the four-county region) including:

Allowing the Peace River/Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority to increase withdrawals from the Peace River when sufficient flows are available.

Allowing the Peace River/Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority to withdraw groundwater from its Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) wellfields after all previously-stored river water has been recovered.

Allowing the Englewood Water District to increase groundwater withdrawals to provide extra water to Charlotte County through a recently constructed interconnection, temporarily reducing the county’s reliance on river water deliveries.

Remaining Counties (see map)Severe (Orange) Alert

The remaining counties in the District remain subject to a different level of water shortage alert. River flows, aquifer and lake levels remain significantly below normal. The area remains under the District’s Modified Phase II (or Severe) Water Shortage restrictions, which were approved by the District’s Governing Board in January 2007. District water restrictions include limiting lawn watering to a maximum of one day per week.

Residents are also urged to continue conserving water indoors and outdoors of their homes and businesses. Residents should also consider turning off their irrigation systems when it rains.

With outdoor irrigation accounting for as much as 50 percent of residential water usage, skipping a week of water can result in a significant water savings.

These water restrictions are in effect through June 30, 2009 and include eastern Marion County, as part of an interagency agreement between the Southwest Florida and St. Johns River Water Management Districts.

Marion County is divided between the two water management districts, with the boundary roughly being Interstate 75. The interagency agreement allows Marion County to have uniform restrictions and eliminates confusion. Under the agreement, Marion County follows the Southwest Florida restrictions when there is a water shortage order in effect.

For more information about watering restrictions in your area, contact your local utility, or visit the District’s website at WaterMatters.org/restrictions/.
Fact sheet for Modified Phase III (or Extreme) Water Shortage restrictions
New Lawns
New and replacement turfgrass (sod, plugs, seed, etc.) has a 30-day establishment period. On days 1-15, the new or replacement turfgrass may be watered any day of the week. On days 16-30, the turfgrass may be watered approximately every other day. Even-numbered addresses may only water on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Odd-numbered addresses may only water on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
New Plants
New plants (other than lawns) has a 60-day establishment period. On days 1-30, new plants may be watered any day of the week. During days 31-60, new plants may be watered approximately every other day. Even-numbered addresses may water on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Odd-numbered addresses may be watered on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.
Hand-watering and micro-irrigation
· Although handwatering and microirrigation of plants (other than lawns) can still be done on any day, it is now limited to the hours of before 8 a.m. or after 6 p.m.
Fountains
· Aesthetic fountains and other water features may only operate four hours per day. The regular hours of operation can be selected by the owner, but must be posted.
Enforcement
· Water utilities and other local enforcement officials must increase their enforcement efforts, including responding to citizen complaints, monitoring water use through patrols or customer records, and issuing citations without having first issued a warning.
Other Water Utility Responsibilities
· Utilities must contact and strive to significantly reduce water use among their high-use single-family customers (those using 15,000 gallons per month or more).
· Utilities must consider implementing a drought surcharge to address their high-use single-family customers
· Utilities must consider implementing a reclaimed water availability fee (to encourage customers with access to reclaimed water to use it for irrigation, instead of using drinking-quality water).
· Utilities must continue implementing Phase II water conservation efforts, including customer education about the current water shortage and ways to conserve water.
· Tampa Bay Water and the Peace River/Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority must each hold a drought summit, in conjunction with the utilities they serve, to explore additional conservation options.
Restaurants
Requiring restaurants to only serve water upon request

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