BY BONNIE PRINGLE - The Gasparilla Island Water Association renewed their Southwest Florida Water Management District water withdrawal permit in 2011. The SWFWMD is responsible for managing and protecting water resoAurces in West Central Florida.
Their job is to ensure we have adequate water supplies to meet the needs of current and future users in Southwest Florida while protecting and restoring water and related natural resources. In order to make certain we have sufficient water supplies for the future, SWFWMD rules now limit water withdrawals for public utilities to 150 gallons per person per day.
Our new permit includes a condition that we reduce our daily average water use per person from 176 gallons as follows:
• Reduce to 164 gallons per person by December 31, 2014• Reduce to 150 gallons per person by December 31, 2019
In 2011, we were well under our 2014 requirement and close to meeting our final mandate with average water usage per person at 154 gallons per day; however, our average increased to 168 in 2012.With only 33.75” of rainfall in 2008 we were in a drought and sold 317 million gallons of water. Four years later, rainfall was near normal at 48.43.” With 356 less units and the additional rainfall, one would expect a reduction in water usage; however, GIWA’s water usage was up 14.5 percent to 363 million gallons in 2012.
To comply with the required decrease in water use, GIWA’s membership must find a way to reduce their water usage approximately 10 percent or a 15 percent reduction in outside irrigation. This could be accomplished simply by reducing the amount of time your irrigation system runs. If a sprinkler zone runs 45 minutes, cutting back 15 percent is only 7 minutes.
A large part of the increase in water usage is due to watering during the rainy season. There is a direct correlation between rainfall and water usage on the island with a drop in water usage in response to rainfall; however, the reduction in usage is not as significant as in the past. This is an indication that many sprinklers are still running unnecessarily.
Remember, GIWA’s 2012 Water Quality Report is now available online. Please visit website mygiwa.com/2012CCR.pdf to learn important information about the source and quality of your drinking water.
Landlords and businesses are encouraged to share the availability of this report with their tenants.
If you would like us to mail you a copy of the report, please contact us at 964-2423.
Bonnie Pringle is the executive director of GIWA.
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