The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) today issued a Water Shortage Warning for Collier and Lee counties amid continuing dry conditions and increasing water supply concerns on the Southwest Coast.
Read the Declaration of Water Shortage Warning SFWMD 2023-062.
The U.S. Drought Monitor indicates that the Southwest Coast is in an Abnormally Dry to Moderate Drought. The Southwest Coast received 42 inches of rain so far this year, about 13 inches below normal. This shortage caused water levels in underground aquifers that supply water to most of the region to decline. Without significant rainfall, further decline in groundwater levels is anticipated over the dry season (November – May).
SFWMD is encouraging residents, visitors, and businesses to conserve water and limit irrigation. Residents can use these simple tips to save water both inside and outside their home:
- All landscape irrigation should comply with the allowed days and times as established in your local government’s year-round landscape irrigation ordinance. Visit Lawn Watering Restrictions to learn more. During the cooler winter months, lawns do not need to be irrigated as frequently as summer months. Most of the time, one day of irrigation per week is sufficient to maintain a healthy landscape.
- Check irrigation timers to ensure settings are correct and rain sensors are working properly. Check irrigation systems to ensure they are working properly and test and repair broken pipes and damaged sprinkler heads.
- Fix leaks. Finding and fixing water leaks conserves water, saves money and protects your home from damage.
- Avoid washing or cleaning streets, sidewalks, driveways, or other impervious areas with water.
- When utilizing water indoors, reduce shower durations, minimize loads of laundry, and only run dishwashers when full.
- Landscape the Florida-Friendly Way by planting low maintenance plants using environmentally sustainable practices.
- Read more Simple Steps to Save Water.
SFWMD staff will continue to monitor water usage and groundwater levels to assess the effectiveness of voluntary water conservation measures. If the voluntary conservation efforts are not enough, the SFWMD may declare a water shortage and invoke mandatory water use restrictions. Water use restrictions would be implemented to protect the public water supply and prevent serious harm to the water resources.
Conserving water year-round is an integral part of managing and protecting South Florida’s water supplies today and for future generations. The SFWMD proactively develops long-term water supply plans to monitor, evaluate and identify water sources and projects to meet the future water needs throughout its 16-county region.
Learn more about the importance of water conservation.