An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Stage 1 water shortage calls for conservation measures

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CLEARWATER – Tampa Bay Water has sufficient drinking water supplies to serve the region; however, the Tampa Bay region is now in a Stage 1 water shortage due to below-average regional rainfall on a 12-month rolling average. The Stage 1 shortage is declared under the regional Water Shortage Mitigation Plan, Tampa Bay Water’s supply management plan to proactively mitigate water supply shortages driven by prolonged, below-normal hydrologic conditions.

The region enters a Stage 1 water shortage when the rainfall deficit is more than 5 inches. Regional rainfall totals averaged 8.3 inches below normal over the past 12 months.

Tampa Bay Water’s diverse water supply system is built to withstand dry conditions with the use of the regional reservoir and seawater desalination plant. Tampa Bay Water’s C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir, the region’s water savings account, is nearly full at 14 billion gallons of its 15.5-billion-gallon capacity, which will help maintain water supply to the Tampa Bay Regional Surface Water Treatment Plant. The Tampa Bay Seawater Desalination Plant, the region’s drought-proof water supply, is expected to deliver water beginning in November.

It's important to take proactive measures in a Stage 1 water shortage and residents can help by conserving water during these drier than normal conditions. Regional water supply demands in September averaged 208.5 million gallons per day (mgd), 7.45 mgd higher than August 2023 average demand mostly due to outdoor watering.

Regional watering restrictions are set by the Southwest Florida Water Management District; however, local utilities may set more stringent watering restrictions. Residents and businesses in the Tampa Bay region should follow their local watering restrictions and only water when needed and allowed.

Visit the link below for some easy ways to save water.