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First Coast

Water Shortage Warning Order Issued For Some First Coast Counties

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Serena Summerfield
/
WJCT News

The St. Johns Water Management District has issued a water shortage warning order for portions North and Central Florida after below-average rainfall this winter.

Abnormally dry weather conditions have prompted the need for additional water conservation in First Coast counties Baker, Putnam, Nassau, Flagler and Clay, which received about half of their normal rainfall.

Duval County isn’t in the affected areas of the order, but received 1.3 inches below average rainfall in February. It had 1.71 inches of precipitation instead of the average 3.03 inches.

In order to avoid a shortage and ensure there’s enough water to meet residents’ needs, water managers have conservation strategies.

Water managers suggest showering instead of bathing, covering pools to prevent evaporation, and when landscaping, selecting trees and shrubs native to Florida that require less water to maintain.

Lawn watering restrictions change during the year for daylight saving time. Currently, odd-numbered residential houses may irrigate on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and even-numbered houses on Thursdays and Sundays. Businesses may irrigate on Tuesdays and Fridays. Watering must be done after 4 p.m. or before 10 a.m. year-round.

While the order states Florida hasn’t reached a point of an anticipated water shortage, it shows there’s a potential for a prolonged drought if conditions continue.

Intern Serena Summerfield can be reached at newsteam@wjct.org, 904.358.6317, or Twitter @sumserfield.