Rainbow over Cypress Creek IEM Building
Early Summer Rains Dampen Drought
Drought Update, | | Return

It’s not your imagination…this past winter and spring was the driest dry season in over 100 years! From Oct. 1, 2016, through May 31, 2017, the Tampa Bay region received about half of its normal rainfall. The effects were easy to see. Rivers were trickling at a fraction of typical flows and wildfires were scorching the Florida landscape.

At the beginning of June, the United States Drought Monitor map showed all of central Florida in a severe drought. A few weeks and more than 7 inches of rain later, our drought condition has eased to moderate and river flows have rebounded.

  May condition Mid-June condition
Alafia River 10-20 cubic feet per second 350-400 cubic feet per second
Hillsborough River 35-40 cubic feet per second 159 cubic feet per second
C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir 8.1 decreasing to 5.9 billion gallons stored 5 billion gallons stored


During the spring dry season, regional water demand went up 28 million gallons per day (mdg) over the same period last year. With the return of normal rainfall, Tampa Bay Water expects water demand to return to normal.

Water restrictions remain in effect for the Tampa Bay region. To find out your watering day and time, use Tampa Bay Water’s zip code lookup tool.