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Despite Rainfall, Region Remains in Phase 3 Water Shortage

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June 2012 Drought Update from Tampa Bay Water Although Tropical Storm Debby dropped significant rainfall in the Tampa Bay Water service area and rainfall deficits declined, the region remains in a Phase III Water Shortage. The Phase III regional water shortage status is a trigger under the agency's Water Shortage Mitigation Plan and is based on persistent low-river flow conditions. River flows should rebound through July as increased rainfall continues to positively affect flow in local rivers.

Current drinking water supplies are adequate to serve the region. Hillsborough River flows are well above normal and the City of Tampa's reservoir storage has recovered. Tampa Bay Water delivered water to the City of Tampa for the first half of June to augment the City's drinking water supplies. At the peak, Tampa Bay Water was delivering about 20 million gallons per day to the City. In mid-June, delivery to the City ceased due to improved rainfall and river flow conditions.

Tampa Bay Water used about 713 million gallons from the C.W. Bill Young Regional Reservoir in June. As of June 30, the reservoir was holding 2.45 billion gallons of stored water and excess surface flows of about 581 million gallons were placed into reservoir storage during June.

The Tampa Bay Water Shortage Mitigation 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 continue in a Modified Phase II shortage, which began on May 9, 2012.

Regional water facts for June 2012:

  • Rainfall totals in June averaged about 17 inches regionally. Consistent heavy rainfall occurred regionally, with the majority occurring during Tropical Storm Debby. Heaviest rainfall of between 20 and 25 inches occurred in various locations throughout the tri-county area, with a few stations receiving 12 inches of rain or less. Long-term rainfall deficits in both the Hillsborough and Alafia river basins declined by around 10 inches to 6.6 and 15.3 inches, respectively.
  • Hillsborough River flow jumped to 194 percent of the mean monthly flow for June while the Alafia River flow was 171 percent of normal.
  • Regional water supply demands averaged about 225 million gallons per day, a 30 million gallons per day drop from May demands.
  • Rainfall and surface water flow conditions are expected to increase as above normal rainfall conditions are predicted over the remainder of the summer rainy season.
  • Regional water demand peaked at near 260 million gallons per day just prior to Tropical Storm Debby and declined to around 200 million gallons per day during the storm.
  • Demand will fluctuate if normal summer rainfall patterns don’t occur, as evidenced by June demand data.
  • 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.

    Additional Contact Information

    Dave Bracciano

    Tampa Bay Water

    (727) 796-2355