Southwest Florida residents can now irrigate twice per week.
TAMPA BAY, Fla. – For the first time in three years, the Southwest Florida Water Management District is allowing residents to water their lawns twice a week.
At a meeting Tuesday, the district allowed a once-a-week restriction to expire. It had been in effect since January 2007 and applied to all potable water users in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Polk counties.
The decision Tuesday came after Granville Kinsman, head of hydrologic data for the district, told the board the area has received a good amount of rain, thanks largely to La Nina.
Precipitation has been within or above the normal range in most areas in the district, and above-normal rainfall is expected this summer, Kinsman says. The reservoirs are full.
The once-a-week restriction expires today.
"There are no known water concerns," Richard Owen, deputy executive director of resource regulation, told the board.
Still, Owen cautioned, the board's decision should not be interpreted as an enthusiastic thumbs-up to more lawn watering. "Water only when necessary," Owen says, adding that year-round conservation measures still should be observed.
That means, among other things, turning sprinklers off when it's raining.
The district's decision paves the way for local governments to allow constituents to return to twice-a-week watering. The district cautions water users to check with those entities before resuming twice-a-week watering.
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