2011 Water Shortage – Pending
At the beginning of the year, the 2011 dry season was projected to be one of the driest on record. Couple that with the new low Lake Okeechobee Regulation schedule and we were expecting the Lake Okeechobee Basin to be in more severe water shortage by February 2011. Recent rainfall may have provided some much needed short term relief, but we are still looking at below normal rainfall for the immediate future.
A Water Shortage Warning was ordered November 10, 2010 which includes all users of surface water, regarding of permit type, that withdraw from Lake Istokpoga, the Indian Prairie Water Use Basin, and Lake Okeechobee and Surface Waters Hydraulically Connected to Lake Okeechobee within the Everglades Agricultural Area Water Use Basin, Lakeshore Perimeter Water Use Basin, Caloosahatchee River Water Use Basin, Interior Palm Beach County Water Use Basin, Interior Martin County Water Use Basin, and St. Lucie River Water Use Basin within all or parts of Okeechobee, Glades, Highlands, Lee, Hendry, Palm Beach, Martin, and St. Lucie Counties. The water shortage warning requested users to voluntarily reduce their consumption in accordance with the Phase 1 restrictions.
If we do not have sufficient rainfall, then it is anticipated the Water Shortage Warning will become a Phase 1 Water Shortage and increase in severity as we move through the dry months of January through May. The surface water levels in Lake Okeechobee, Lake Kissimmee and the upper chain of lakes are low. The area is presently experiencing a “La Nina” condition, which statistically results in a dryer than average dry season. The climatological predictions anticipate an even dryer outlook for the 2011 dry season.
When a Phase 1 or Moderate Water Shortage is declared, it will affect different user classifications based upon the SFWMD’s rule 40E-21.521 and the subsequent District order.
Residential Users must comply with the stricter of the SFWMD’s Year Round Conservation Rule or local government’s regulations relating to watering days and times.
Agricultural, Livestock, Aquacultural and Nursery Use are restricted based upon the crop, method of irrigation, time of day and basin.
Other restrictions apply to dewatering users, aesthetic uses, recreational and pressuring cleaning as well as commercial uses such as mobile car washing.
Finally, the permit conditions of a consumptive use permit may impose additional conditions for restrictions or information required of the permittee specifically during a water shortage.