Reflecting the continuing dry trends, March 2017 saw a below-average rainfall across the St. Johns River Water Management District’s 18-county service area. Orange County, part of this area, was one of the counties that received the least amount with 0.36 inches.
A full report outlining rainfall totals was presented on Tuesday, April 11, at the district’s April Governing Board meeting.
“Continued dry conditions reinforce the important role water conservation plays in providing sufficient water for people and the environment,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “We continue to closely monitor hydrologic data within the district to determine next steps regarding future potential water shortage declarations.”
Due to dry conditions, the 12-month cumulative rainfall remains below average, with a districtwide rainfall deficit of 10.9 inches. While the significance of recent rain has yet to be determined, the trend is predicted to persist as rainfall is normally low during April and May.
Counties with the least rainfall were Orange with 0.36 inches, and Seminole and Osceola counties receiving 0.42 inches each. Indian River County had the highest rainfall, with 1.8 inches. Alachua, Baker, Bradford and Lake counties all had rainfall deficits greater than 3 inches.
In March, the district’s governing board issued a Water Shortage Warning Order in anticipation of potential prolonged drought for portions of Nassau, Flagler, Baker, Clay, Putnam, Marion and Lake counties located within the district to increase awareness for water conservation measures.
The district is dedicated to grassroots education and outreach programs that share with the public the importance of ongoing water conservation.
The district recommends that when outdoors, homeowners should follow watering restrictions, which specify the days and times irrigation can occur. When indoors, homeowners should check and fix leaks in faucets or toilets, avoid running water unnecessarily in faucets, showers and toilets. When it’s time to replace fixtures and appliances, homeowners should consider installing high-efficiency versions.
For additional water conservation tips to help homeowners save water and money around the home, visit www.sjrwmd.com/waterconservation.