Tampa Bay Water Moving Into a
Phase 3 Regional Water Storage
CLEARWATER, Fla. (May 4, 2012)—Tampa Bay Water is moving into a Phase 3 water shortage. The Phase 3 regional water shortage status is a condition under the agency’s Water Shortage Mitigation plan and is being prompted by:
- Continued above-normal temperatures
- Continued below-normal rainfall
- Extremely low river flows
- Declines in surface water storage at the regional reservoir
Current drinking water supplies are sufficient to serve the region; however, surface water conditions continue to deteriorate. Hillsborough River flows are low and the City of Tampa's reservoir storage continues to decline. Tampa Bay Water continued delivering water to the City of Tampa throughout most of April and has increased delivery to 25 million gallons per day to augment the City's supplies. Flow in the Alafia River and pool stages in the Tampa Bypass Canal remain below permit threshold limits, which means there is no river water available for capture and use by Tampa Bay Water.
Tampa Bay Water used 1.39 billion gallons from the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir in April. As of April 30, the reservoir was holding only 3.2 billion gallons of stored water.
The Tampa Bay Water plan identifies when hydrologic and/or water supply conditions change only. The region's water shortage restrictions set by the Southwest Florida Water Management District are scheduled to be changed to a Modified Phase III shortage based on their Boards' action on April 24, 2012.
Regional water facts for April 2012:
- Tampa Bay Water regional rainfall deficit for the past 12 months is -10.9 inches.
- Rainfall totals in April averaged about 1.74 inches, 3/4 inch below normal. Heaviest rainfall amounts occurred in scattered spots in northeastern Pinellas and central Pasco counties with over 3 inches of rain. Much of the region received between 1 and 2 inches of rain. Eastern Hillsborough County received the least rainfall with less than 1 inch occurring.
- Long-term rainfall deficits in both the Hillsborough and Alafia river basins continue significant at 16 and 26 inches.
- Hillsborough River flow was 20 percent of the mean monthly flow for April while the Alafia River flow was at less than 5 percent of normal.
- Regional water supply demands averaged about 251 million gallons per day, similar to March demand.
Rainfall and surface water flow conditions are expected to continue to be below normal through at least the end of the spring dry season. Regional water demands increased to over 280 million gallons per day in mid-April due to dry, warm weather. Increased demand normally occurs through early June due to irrigation.
Tampa Bay Water continues to request the cities of Tampa, St. Petersburg, New Port Richey and counties of Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco reduce water demands and enforce water restrictions.
For more information contact Dave Bracciano or Alison Adams