Water Shortage Warning: Lawn Watering Limits
Water Shortage Warning in Effect
At its April 13 meeting, the SFWMD Governing Board issued a water shortage warning for all 16 counties in the District in response to falling water levels and extremely dry conditions that are expected to linger. The most beneficial conservation practice for South Florida residents is to follow mandatory year-round landscape irrigation conservation measures listed on this page.
Lawn watering is limited all year in South Florida by the South Florida Water Management District's Year-Round Landscape Irrigation Rule and local ordinances.
(NOTE: Local governments may adopt water shortage orders with alternate schedules. Please check with your city or county to see if any are in effect.)
Click the list of counties or the map below to find the days and times when you can water in your area:
Background on Year-Round Landscape Irrigation Conservation Measures
The Year-Round Landscape Irrigation Rule (Chapter 40E-24, F.A.C.) is a component of the South Florida Water Management District's Comprehensive Water Conservation Program, which was established to encourage more responsible use of water resources throughout South Florida.
In effect since 2010, the Year-Round Landscape Irrigation Rule limits landscape watering to two days a week throughout the District, with a three-day-a-week provision for some counties. In all cases, reclaimed water used for irrigation is subject to voluntary watering limits, unless otherwise restricted by a local government or utility.
IMPORTANT: Local governments may adopt alternative landscape irrigation ordinances based on local water demands, system limitations or resource availability. Several counties, cities and utilities have exercised this option. As a result, residents should always check local ordinances for watering days and times.
The District is promoting water conservation for its many benefits in meeting the growing demands on South Florida's limited water supply. Consider that:
- South Florida residents consume 145 gallons per person per day – the highest water usage in the state.
- Outdoor irrigation accounts for up to 50 percent of water use in Florida, and up to 50 percent of the water applied to lawns is lost to evaporation or runoff.
- During the wet season, from June through October, most lawns don't need to be watered at all. South Florida's typically abundant rainfall is often enough to meet the annual water needs of South Florida lawns and landscapes, such that our lawns may need supplemental irrigation only during the dry season from November through May.
- Water conservation can cost as little as 6 cents to 72 cents per 1,000 gallons of water saved, while the cost of constructing alternative water supply facilities can exceed $7 per 1,000 gallons of water created.
Water conservation makes good environmental and financial sense. It protects our water supply and assures there will be water available for the environment and our communities in the future. Water conservation can also reduce household spending and cuts government expenses.