Tampa water officials stress conservation during drought

03/05/09 Mitch E. Perry
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The drought in Florida is only getting worse, and today in Tampa, the city’s Water Department’s Director, Brad Baird, came before the City Council to discuss the situation.

Baird said the reservoir operated by the regional water utility, Tampa Bay Water, has less than a week’s supply contained in it right now.

With the rainy season still months away, conditions aren’t any better with other sources, such as the Hillsborough and Alafia rivers.

Last week, all eyes were on the meeting held by the Southwest Florida Water Management District (Swiftmud). That board had the authority to impose tighter water restrictions for the Tampa Bay area. Instead of moving to what is known as Phase 4, Swiftmud instead said restaurants should no longer give out glasses of water to patrons unless they request them.

City Councilman John Dingfelder blasted the smallness of that act.

For years, Councilman Charlie Miranda has advocated for citizens to conserve water. He said the situation is as bad as it has ever been.

Officials also wanted to remind residents to check the timers on their irrigation system controllers when they turn their clocks ahead one hour on Saturday night to change from Eastern Standard to Daylight Saving Time.

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