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District declares water shortage warning for several counties

Suwannee River Water Management

Live Oak - Decreased rainfall amounts and declining hydrological conditions across North Florida has the Suwannee River Water Management District (District) declaring a water shortage warning for portions of the district to encourage water users to be mindful of water usage and implement water conservation practices.

The warning does not create additional restrictions on water use and is primarily used as an informational tool to bring awareness to current hydrological conditions.  

“The goal of the warning is to encourage area residents, businesses and visitors to take on a conservation mindset and begin implementing water wise practices before we face a possible problem,” said Noah Valenstein, executive director for the District.

The water shortage warning covers the portions of Alachua, Bradford and Levy counties located within the District boundary. The warning also includes the unincorporated areas of Alachua and Levy counties as a whole, in accordance with existing memoranda of understandings with neighboring water management districts.

“The warning is a proactive step toward increasing water awareness and conservation for the entire District,” said Valenstein. “In times of low rainfall, we are all called to be especially mindful of our water usage to ensure the long-term safety and health of the resource.”

The water shortage warning encourages all classes of water users to reduce their water use and to conserve water to the maximum extent possible. Additionally, landscape irrigation users are urged to voluntarily reduce their water use by limiting irrigation to no more than two days each week during Daylight Savings Time. All golf course irrigation users are encouraged to use water in accordance with the provisions of Florida Administrative Code.

Under existing rule, the District has implemented a year-round, standing Phase One Water Shortage Advisory asking all water users to initiate conservation and eliminate wasteful or inefficient water use. The District encourages the public to contact their respective county or city to determine the specific year-round water conservation measures and water shortage ordinance requirements for their area.

The water shortage warning comes by way of resolution from the District’s Governing Board of Directors, which was approved on May 4, 2017. Other water management districts have declared similar actions in incorporated areas of Alachua and Levy counties in accordance with existing interagency agreements. The warning shall remain in effect from May 4, 2017 until July 31, 2017, unless otherwise modified, revoked, or rescinded by the Governing Board.

Hydrological conditions within the District are reported monthly to the Governing Board and made public. To view a copy of the most recent report or for more information on water shortage warnings and ways you can help conserve water, visit, search “Water Resources.” For more information, contact Tom Mirti, director for the water resources division at 386-362-1001. For more information about the District, visit their website at