Water Shortage Order in Effect

Important Information from the Southwest Florida Water Management District

At its November 14, 2023 meeting, the Governing Board of the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) voted to declare a Modified Phase I Water Shortage for all of Charlotte, Citrus, DeSoto, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Manatee. Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota and Sumter counties; portions of Lake and Levy counties; the City of Dunnellon and The Villages in Marion County; and the portion of Gasparilla Island in Lee. This area specifically excludes unincorporated Levy County, since restrictions in those areas are managed by the Suwanee River Water Management District in accordance with an interagency agreement between the two Water Management Districts.

Order No. SWF 23-041 is effective as of November 21, 2023. The Water Shortage Order will remain in effect through July 1, 2024. The District is required, by state law, to monitor and respond to droughts and other regional water shortage events. 

All Water Use Permits include a standard condition which allows the District to modify permits during a declared water shortage. The Phase I order specifically requires applicable water utilities to review and implement procedures for enforcing year-round water conservation measures and water shortage restrictions, report enforcement activity to the District on a monthly basis and take other appropriate actions.

Effective November 21, 2023

• Everyone must continue following current lawn and landscape irrigation restrictions for their community

• "Wasteful and Unnecessary" water use is prohibited, including allowing water to be dispersed without any practical purpose, using water in a grossly inefficient manner, and using water for a purpose that can be readily accomplished by other means

• Water utilities, in consultation with applicable local enforcement agencies, must:

      - Review, update and implement enforcing year-round and water shortage restrictions

      - Report information to the District regarding violations involving a Water Use Permit holder

      - Respond to residential and other enforcement referrals made by the District

      - Transmit enforcement data to the District on a monthly basis

      - Inform customers about the declaration, local supplies and water conservation opportunities

      - Address inquiries from the District and citizens about line flushing and disinfection activity