Florida District Warns Water Shortage to Worsen
Seasonal rains did not sufficiently replenish regional water
supplies to meet the coming dry season's demands, according to the
South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD).
With the wet season now over, SFWMD recently warned South Florida
residents to prepare for a prolonged, severe water shortage with the
possibility of tighter water restrictions ahead.
"A normal wet season was never going to be enough to pull us out of
the water shortage left behind by the 2006 far-below-normal wet season
and subsequent dry season," said Carol Ann Wehle, executive director of
the SFWMD. "Our consistent message to South Florida residents has been
that we remain in a severe regional water shortage. Now as we enter the
dry season, water conservation will be critical to ensuring there is
enough water available."
In almost all locations, district-wide surface and groundwater
levels are lower in November than they were a year ago, particularly in
the Lake Okeechobee and Lower West Coast areas. According to water
managers, these regions are likely to experience the most severe water
shortage impacts next spring.
At present, climate forecasters predict that the current La Niña
weather pattern of colder than normal temperatures in the equatorial
Pacific is likely to result in lower than normal rainfall in the
southeastern United States, SFWMD officials said. For the district,
this is likely to represent a two-to-six-inch deficit through March
The SFWMD continues to encourage all water users to voluntarily
reduce water consumption and observe normal water conservation