Tampa Bay Regional Water Supply and Drought Index January 15, 2009
CLEARWATER (January 15, 2009)—Surface water availability declined to zero and long-term regional drinking water storage conditions continued to descend in the Tampa Bay region in December, as the regions’ rainfall totals were about 65% below normal for the month.
Surface water flow conditions are extremely low and C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir water began flowing into the regional water supply distribution system about six months ahead of average condition needs. Regional water facts for December:
- The region is well into the fall dry season when rainfall totals are normally low. The trend of individual monthly rainfall deficits continued throughout the region, averaging about 65% or 2 inches below the normal 3 inches. Rainfall deficits were spread equally throughout the region.
- Long-term rainfall deficits for the Hillsborough River basin increased about 1 inch to about 40 inches and the Alafia River watershed the deficit increased by about 1.5 inch to about 20 inches.
- River flows continue to decline, flow in the Hillsborough River was about 75% below normal; daily flow remains below the 5th percentile.
- Alafia River flow was about 75% below normal in December; daily flow remains below the 5th percentile.
- Regional water demand in December averaged about 229 million gallons per day (mgd), a 6% decrease from November demand.
- As of January 7, 2009, 1.88 billion gallons of water remained stored in the Regional Reservoir.
Cooler seasonal weather conditions, along with increased enforcement of water restrictions, reduced irrigation demand. Significant surface water flow deficits and long-term below normal rainfall are expected to plague conditions in the region through the spring dry season. To eliminate the current surface water flow deficit problems and provide flows for treatment, consistent and well above normal rainfall is needed throughout the normally drier winter months and spring dry season, which is not anticipated.Following a Tampa Bay Water request, the Southwest Florida Water Management District entered in to a Level III Extreme Water Shortage for the tri-county area on October 28, 2008. Tampa Bay Water continues to request the cities of Tampa, St. Petersburg, New Port Richey and counties of Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco reduce demand and increase enforcement of water restrictions.
For more information contact Dave Bracciano or Alison Adams at 727.796.2355.
- ### -