The Suwannee River Water Management District governing board voted on Thursday to cancel a Phase II Water Shortage Advisory that would have required mandatory water restrictions to begin on May 14.
The board did, however, reinstitute a Phase I Advisory calling for voluntary water restrictions district wide, and urged all water users to conserve and eliminate wasteful or inefficient water use.
Water users who plan to implement long-range conservation measures are asked to speed implementation to the greatest extent practical.
The board’s decision was based on staff recommendations, hydrologic conditions reports, national drought indices, and long-term climate predictions which show no apparent trend toward below-normal precipitation through June.
Although groundwater and surfacewater levels continue to fluctuate throughout the District, with some areas experiencing below-normal levels, District officials expect conditions to improve as the traditional rainy season approaches.To address ongoing water-supply concerns, the District is drafting a year-round water conservation rule for residential lawn and landscape irrigation. It is expected the rule will limit lawn watering to two days per week, with watering prohibited between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when water loss due to evaporation is greatest.
The rule is being developed in cooperation with the St. Johns and Southwest Florida water management districts, which share jurisdiction of various counties. The three districts hope that by developing a consistent, rather than conflicting set of rules, they can craft a more effective regional water-conservation message and eliminate confusion on the part of the general public.
The District also is revising a separate rule that regulates water use for other categories including agricultural, commercial, industrial, and golf courses.