Tampa Bay Regional Water Supply
and Drought Index
Regional Water Supplies in Phase II Drought Warning
CLEARWATER, Fla. (October 17, 2011) - Regional water supplies continue in Phase II drought warning status due to longer term dry spring and variable summer conditions contributing to long-term surface water deficits. A Phase II drought warning is triggered by drier-than-normal hydrologic conditions during the past 12 months.
As part of Tampa Bay Water's Water Shortage Mitigation Plan, the Agency provides these monthly water supply updates when a Phase II drought warning or greater is triggered and will stop sending them when conditions improve to Phase I.
Although the rolling cumulative rainfall deficit for the region has declined, the phase II warning continues due to longer term flow deficits in the Hillsborough River basin. Phase II cannot be relieved until sufficient rainfall has reduced the median deficit flow to less than 5 MGD. Regional reservoir storage increased by over 3.5 billion gallons in September. Regional water supplies remain adequate to meet demands.
The region's water restrictions, enacted by the Southwest Florida Water Management District in December 2010, remain in effect.
Regional water facts for September:
- Rainfall totals in September averaged about 6.8 inches, slightly above the regional average. The highest levels of rain fall occurred in central and eastern Pasco County which received over 10 inches, while rainfall in much of eastern and southern Hillsborough County received between 3.5 and 5 inches.
- Long-term rainfall deficits in the Hillsborough River basin are improving while long-term rainfall deficits in the Alafia River basin are worsening.
- Hillsborough River flow was about 33% of the mean monthly flow for September while the Alafia River flow was at 40% of normal.
- Regional water demand in September averaged about 212 million gallons per day, 18 million gallons less than September 2010, and a decline of 8 million gallons per day from August 2011.
Due to La Nina conditions, below normal precipitation is expected during fall/winter of 2011 and into spring 2012, according to the Southeast Climate Consortium and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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 enforce water restrictions.
For more information contact Dave Bracciano or Alison Adams at 727-796-2355.
Tampa Bay Water is the state's largest wholesale water supplier, providing water to Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties and the cities of New Port Richey, St. Petersburg and Tampa. More than 2 million people throughout the Tampa Bay region are served through Tampa Bay Water's member governments.