Over the summer, rain that usually falls like clockwork missed the Tampa Bay region. In fact, the 2023 summer rainy season was the driest in 26 years. Tampa Bay Water declared a Stage 1 Drought Alert Oct. 1, and began taking proactive measures to manage regional water demands, including requesting that the Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) approve a water shortage order. On Nov. 14, the District approved a water shortage order that restricts outdoor watering to one day a week in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties, and the cities therein, and requires municipalities to enforce irrigation days and restrictions beginning Dec. 1.
“Restrictions are important because this is where we can save the most water,” said Warren Hogg, chief science officer for Tampa Bay Water. “Up to 50% of water used at home during dry times like this is for watering lawns.” Residents concerned about their lawns not getting enough water need not worry. In the fall and winter months, grass goes dormant and only needs watered every 10-14 days. Residents can help by conserving water indoors and outdoors. Discover your watering day, indoor and outdoor water savings tips and more at tampabaywater.org/conservation.