Water shortage warning order extends to St. Johns County


The St. Johns River Water Management District recently issued a water shortage warning order for all 18 counties within its jurisdiction, including St. Johns County, due to extreme drought conditions in the area.

The order has expanded from seven of those counties listed in an initial warning issued in March. Officials say the objective of the order is to reduce water use and increase conservation efforts to prevent potential adverse environmental and economic impacts.

Conditions have not yet reached a point where there is an expectation of insufficient water to meet anticipated demand and protect water resources, they say. Current conditions reflecting below-average rainfall, groundwater and surface water flows that indicate a prolonged drought, however, do warrant the need for heightened water conservation efforts.

Officials say the largest water savings can be realized outdoors, where more than half of residential water is used on lawns and landscapes. As a result, landscape irrigation is recommended to occur between 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. and not to exceed two days per week.

According to the water management district’s website, the agency collaborates with local governments, utilities, agricultural interests and other stakeholders to communicate any requirements in relation to the warning, with permit holders in the affected area receiving notification letters or emails.

The district last issued a water shortage order in 1999, which was modified several times and then rescinded in 2006.

For more information on the warning and water conservation, visit http://www.sjrwmd.com/facts/watershortageorder.html.