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Tampa Bay Water asks residents to curb water use by 5% during dry spring months

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CLEARWATER – Despite a rainy winter, Tampa Bay Water asks residents to continue water-saving habits as the region heads into its spring dry season.

El Niño rainfall, cooler weather and watering restrictions have helped thwart overwatering in the Tampa Bay area; however, regional water demands in February averaged about 189 million gallons per day – nearly two million gallons per day higher than in January.

The region remains in a 5.4-inch rainfall deficit averaged over the past 12 months, and average river flows are in a 4.4-million gallons per day deficit over the same period. It’s this scenario when Tampa Bay Water relies on its water savings account – the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir, which holds 15.5 billion gallons of water when full.

Last October, the regional utility forecasted it would have around 10 billion gallons of water stored in its reservoir at this time. Mother Nature had other plans.

“We hoped to have more water in our reservoir going into the driest months of year – March, April and May,” said Warren Hogg, chief science officer for Tampa Bay Water. Instead, the reservoir sits at 7.2 billion gallons.

“We’re not going to run out of water for residents,” said Hogg. “But saving water during dry times leaves more water in the environment when it needs it most.”

Tampa Bay Water is asking residents to cut water use by 5%. “This is attainable considering up to 50% of water used at home during the dry season is for watering lawns,” Hogg added.

Outdoor watering in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties is limited to one-day-per-week per the Southwest Florida Water Management District water shortage order that runs through July 1, 2024. Residents can find their watering day by simply entering their zip codes at