New watering restrictions introduced in the Tampa Bay area

A lack of rainfall led to the new, temporary rules.

A sprinkler head up close. It is sat in grass and spraying water.

You’ll see less of this for a while.

Southwest Florida officials met earlier this week and issued a water shortage order. But what does that mean? Here’s what you need to know:

  • The Tampa Bay area is in a drought after this summer’s four-month rainy season produced just ~26.8 inches of rainfall. That’s the least in 26 years, according to the Southwest Florida Water Management District.
  • The Modified Phase 1 Shortage order impacts 16 counties in total, and runs from Tuesday, Nov. 21 to the start of July, meaning certain restrictions for water usage are on their way.
  • Both Hillsborough and Pinellas county residents face more restrictions than other counties. Starting Friday, Dec. 1, only one day of outdoor lawn watering is allowed per week.
  • The day you are allowed to water your lawn depends on your house number, and the size of your property also has an impact — see how you will be affected.
  • If you’re looking for guidance on how to conserve water, we’ve got you covered with some handy tips.