Drought Conditions for Growers

Hugh Gramiling, who sits on the SWFWMD Board recently let me know that despite what is going on with the residential customers for some areas, growers are still at Phase II water restrictions. This is defined below:
Phase II (severe) water shortage – Multiple regional drought indicators have moderately abnormal values, or a local drought indicator for a specific public supply has a severely abnormal value, such that conditions warrant prudent actions to further assure that only reasonable water uses are occurring in the affected area.

For ag. producers this means; each permittee complying with the Water Use Permit (WUP), each grower should follow published BMPs, if you are not under a WUP you should:
1. Reduce off-site discharge to the extent practicable;
2. Recycle water to the extent practicable;
3. Reduce clean-up requiring water use to the minimum required to protect efficiency of the operation and prevent damage to equipment.
4. Reduce the washing of vehicles and other Mobile Equipment; except for health and safety needs or as otherwise required by BMPs, such to prevent the spread of plant or animal diseases; 5. Maximize the use of the lesser or least restricted Source Class to which there is access;
6. Include a ban on supplemental irrigation between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. These exemptions include allowances for Low-Volume Irrigation technology, plant protection, testing and maintenance of irrigation systems and irrigation to water in chemicals, traveling gun an center pivot irrigation.
7. Water use essential to the activity, such as irrigation of crops or maintenance of livestock, shall not be otherwise restricted.

For more information call me at the Extension office or go to the SWFWMD web site. www.watermatters.org

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