April 24, 2020
Water irrigation restrictions in effect in all parts of Lee County to protect crucial water resources amid drought conditions.
FORT MYERS, Fla. - In order to protect and conserve crucial groundwater resources in aquifers for residents during the remainder of the dry season, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and Lee County announced mandatory irrigation restrictions today. These restrictions are to address low aquifer levels that can lead to homeowner water wells becoming inoperable if left unchecked.
The new irrigation restrictions apply in all parts of Lee County and go into effect starting tomorrow, April 25. Restrictions include:
- 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, 12 a.m. 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 including Lee County residents with private wells. Limited rainfall throughout the dry season has led to decreased groundwater (water beneath the surface) levels in aquifers in Lee County.
- 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.
- More specifically, 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, 2020 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.
- 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.
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.
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 is in effect starting tomorrow, April 25, 2020 and will be rescinded when water conditions improve.