Mandatory watering restrictions begin Saturday
Mandatory watering restrictions will begin Saturday throughout Lee County.
To protect and conserve crucial groundwater resources in aquifers for the remainder of the dry season, the South Florida Water Management District, Lee County and the city of Cape Coral on Friday announced mandatory irrigation restrictions.
The new irrigation restrictions apply in all parts of Lee County, including the Cape, and go into effect as of April 25.
The restrictions include residents on private well,
* Landscape irrigation is restricted to one day per week for all parts of Lee County.
– The following landscape irrigation restrictions are in place for all of Lee County except the City of Cape Coral:
— Irrigation is only allowed on Sunday for even-numbered addresses and Wednesday for odd-numbered addresses based on the last number of the address.
–All landscape irrigation is prohibited between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to reduce evaporation.
– The following landscape irrigation restrictions are in place for the City of Cape Coral:
— Irrigation is only allowed on a specific day of the week based on the last number of the address.
— Irrigation is only allowed during one of two 4-hour slots, Midnight to 4 a.m. or 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. also based on the address.
* Irrigation is restricted to one day per week for recreational uses.
* Irrigation is also restricted for golf courses, agriculture and nursery uses.
Learn more about the restrictions at www.SFWMD.gov/Conserve.
The irrigation restrictions are in place to protect the region’s water resources. Limited rainfall throughout the dry season has led to decreased groundwater (water beneath the surface) levels in aquifers in Lee County, officials said.
From September 2019 through March 2020, Florida’s southwest coast received only 14.72 inches of rainfall, 66% of average, for a deficit of -7.64 inches. The southwest coast of Florida received 0.27 inches of rainfall in the month of March, only 12% of average.
The U.S. Drought Monitor report published on April 14 indicates that Lee County remains in “Moderate Drought.”
Groundwater levels at most monitoring stations in Lee County have continued to decline over the past seven days and the current rainfall deficit, extreme heat and decreasing surface and groundwater levels are expected to continue throughout the remainder of the dry season, which typically ends around the end of May.
Residents should not construe the situation as cause to cut down in increased hand washing recommended due to the pandemic, officials said.
“Frequent hand washing uses very little water. Residents are encouraged to continue frequent hand washing. There are no restrictions on water use to respond to COVID-19,” a release from the Southwest Florida Water Management District states.
In collaboration with Lee County and local officials, the South Florida Water Management District will continue to closely monitor water conditions. Residents with questions about the irrigation restrictions can visit www.SFWMD.gov/Conserve, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a message on the Citizen Information Line at 1-800-662-8876 ext. 9.
The mandatory irrigation restriction order will be rescinded when water conditions improve
Sources: City of Cape Coral, the Southwest Florida Water Management District