Environment

Water shortage warning issued for South Florida

A worsening drought led South Florida water managers to issue a water shortage warning Thursday, instructing 8 million residents to voluntarily conserve water. If the shortage persists, mandatory restrictions may be issued.
A worsening drought led South Florida water managers to issue a water shortage warning Thursday, instructing 8 million residents to voluntarily conserve water. If the shortage persists, mandatory restrictions may be issued. AP

Stop sprinkling and washing so much. South Florida is getting dry.

On Thursday, South Florida water managers issued a water shortage warning, asking more than 8 million residents from Orlando to Key West to follow lawn-watering rules and conserve water. If the shortage persists, South Florida Water Management District officials say the agency may consider mandatory restrictions.

“The purpose of this warning is to urge South Florida families to voluntarily conserve more water,” board chairman Dan O’Keefe said in a statement. “This effort will help your water supply last through the remainder of the dry season.”

This winter, the region received only 44 percent of its average rainfall, about 6.75 inches shy of what it normally gets. Forecasters are also calling for a 40 to 50 percent chance of above normal temperatures over the next three months, with the rainy season still more than a month away.

Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties all follow lawn-watering restrictions spelled out by the district. For more information, go to https://www.sfwmd.gov/community-residents/landscape-irrigation.

Follow Jenny Staletovich on Twitter @jenstaletovich

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