Don't Get Caught Short Encouraging Community-Based Water Conservation

Despite being surrounded by both salt and fresh water, many cities and towns in South Florida face ongoing water management issues. According to the South Florida Water Management District, more than 7.7 million people—plus the environment, agriculture, businesses and visitors—rely on South Florida's limited water resources. Whether defined by shortages, or by challenges related to flooding or drainage, water issues are among the biggest that HOAs can face.

What Causes Water Shortages?

“We seem to have a series of extremes in South Florida,” says Randy Smith, a spokesman for the South Florida Water Management District. He cites that while South Florida’s rainy season, which runs from June to October, can bring in 55 to 60 inches of rain, the lack of rain during their dry season is what causes the problems. “During the dry season, there are only one to three inches of rain accumulated,” he says. “Droughts like these have been a problem for as long as we’ve been keeping records.”

Bill Worrall, vice president of the Continental Group in Hollywood says the last significant drought was in 2009 when most of the water restrictions were put into place.

“Most of them still carry today,” he says.

According to the SFWMD website, rainfall levels have been below average during the first months of this year’s dry season and were relatively low during the 2011 wet season, coming in at only 38 inches. Most areas of South Florida still haven’t seen any rainfall in 2012. Forecasts are predicting “drier-than-normal” conditions for this dry season, resulting in a water shortage warning for the District’s 16 counties.


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