Cape rescinds Stage I Water Shortage Declaration effective immediately
City Manager John Szerlag has rescinded the Notice of Emergency Stage I Water Shortage and reinstated the City’s regular two-day watering schedule. The rescission is effective immediately.
“We appreciate the support of our residents and businesses as we worked together to get through one of the most severe droughts in our history,” Szerlag said in a prepared statement. “The significant rainfall this week combined with our conservation efforts and water pumped from the reservoir property in Charlotte County, has returned our freshwater canal system to sustainable levels.”
Szerlag issued the Stage I Water Shortage effective April 21 after freshwater canal levels dropped to a point where only a few days of irrigation supply remained. With more than 800 fire hydrants on the City’s irrigation pipe, providing adequate pressure in the event of a structure fire was the main priority. The Stage I declaration mandated a one-day watering schedule.
While the one-day schedule addressed the demand side for irrigation, the City also worked with various state agencies to address the supply side securing the permits necessary for a “test run” agreement to use the Southwest Aggregates reservoir. Since April 28, the City has been pumping 17 MGD from the reservoir to Cape Coral’s freshwater canal system. The City also used the opportunity to gather data to evaluate the reservoir as a future source for irrigation water.
“With the improvement in the levels in our freshwater canal system, and return to the two-day watering schedule, we have discontinued the pumping operation at the reservoir,” added Szerlag. “We thank all of the state agencies and Southwest Aggregates for expediting our request in response to our public safety concerns. The reservoir provided much-needed water and ensured that our hydrants had adequate pressure to function in an emergency.’