Lawn Watering Restrictions
SFWMD Issues Water Shortage Order for Northeastern Portion of Cape Coral
November 28, 2023 - In order to protect groundwater in the Mid-Hawthorn Aquifer, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) declared a water shortage and issued mandatory irrigation restrictions for a portion of Cape Coral and unincorporated Lee County. Landscape irrigation is limited to one day a week in the designated area for irrigation water supplied by private wells.
A water shortage warning issued on November 21, 2023 is still in effect for all of Collier and Lee Counties amid continuing dry conditions and increasing water supply concerns on the Southwest Coast.
The public can get the latest updates from the SFWMD by signing up for text messages and emails here.
Year-round Landscape Water Restrictions are in effect for the entire South Florida Water Management District
The South Florida Water Management District’s year-round landscape watering restrictions (Chapter 40E-24, Florida Administrative Code) are designed to ensure the efficient use of water landscape (includes lawns) irrigation.
The restrictions allow enough water to maintain healthy landscapes year-round. These mandatory restrictions specify the time and the days of the week when watering is permitted for residential and nonresidential locations.
These days depend on whether the address ends in an odd or even number. A healthy landscape only needs 1-inch to 1.5 inches of water per week during summer growing season and only as needed to supplement rainfall. During the winter season, when a lawn goes dormant, it requires even less. Click HERE to see recommended zone run times (minutes) to set on your timer.
The YRR applies to all landscape irrigation from all water sources, including public or privately-owned water utility systems, private wells or private connections to surface water bodies (ponds, lakes, canals, etc.), with the following exceptions:
- Use of reclaimed water
- Athletic play areas (including golf courses, football, baseball, soccer, polo, tennis, and lawn bowling fields, and rodeo, equestrian, and livestock arenas)
- Agricultural operations (including nurseries) with District issued consumptive use permits
- Hand watering is allowed at any time provided the hose has a self-cancelling nozzle.
In short, the YRR prohibits landscape irrigation between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and limits watering to two or three days per week depending on the area. The District has complied this a list of local restrictions (see the drop-down menu below) with the best available information, based on local ordinances, and the District’s authority. Property owners should refer to their local or county ordinance. However, many local governments are in the process of updating their local ordinances to be consistent with the District’s YRR. If your local government’s ordinance allows irrigation more than three days per week, it likely has not completed its local adoption process. In such cases, property owners should refer to the District’s YRR and continue to check with their local government for updates.
Click the drop-down menu below to find the days and times when you can water in your area:
For areas where local governments have adopted a three-day per week restrictions, permissible watering days are as follows:
- Even-Numbered Addresses or other locations without an address, may irrigate only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and/or Sundays.
- Odd-Numbered Addresses may irrigate only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and/or Saturdays.
For areas where local governments have adopted a two-day per week restrictions, permissable watering days are as follows:
- Even-Numbered Addresses or other locations without an address, may irrigate only on Thursdays, and/or Sundays.
- Odd-Numbered Addresses may irrigate only on Wednesdays, and/or Saturdays.
Specific exceptions to the Rule have been defined for the installation of new landscaping material, irrigation system maintenance and repair, watering-in of fertilizers and other chemical treatments, and when using low-volume (micro or by-hand) watering methods. For more information on the District’s YRR, click HERE.
It is important for residents to note the distinction between the YRR, which is mandatory, year-round, and permanent, and a declared Water Shortage, which is a temporary declaration. For more information on water shortage, click HERE.