Fort Myers urges water conservation in light of dry conditions, above-average usage
The City of Fort Myers is urging residents to help conserve water after identifying two key conditions that may impact water volumes during these peak months — dry conditions and rising usage.
The city reported on Monday that is is seeing much higher-than-normal usage rates. While water consumption was at its highest in 2022 — with an average 8.8 million gallons utilized each day — the 2023 peak season is proving to be even higher.
Currently, daily usage is surpassing an average 9.1 million gallons of water daily; that number is continuing to rise as seasonal residents return to their winter homes, more tourists visit Fort Myers, and a greater number of contractors remain in the area facilitating recovery.
Additionally, Fort Myers is facing a dry spell. In the past week, the National Drought Mitigation Center has categorized the Fort Myers area as experiencing “moderate drought” and “abnormally dry” conditions.
With the current dry conditions, nature’s organic water replenishment is a bit off-balance. Therefore, we have to be more cognitive of our water usage during these months to help compensate for these conditions. Fortunately, there are many things all of us can do in our everyday lives to conserve this essential resource.Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson
“We’ve made significant system improvements so that we can satisfy the needs of our residents and visitors, but it’s important to not be wasteful,” said Mayor Kevin Anderson. “With the current dry conditions, nature’s organic water replenishment is a bit off-balance. Therefore, we have to be more cognitive of our water usage during these months to help compensate for these conditions. Fortunately, there are many things all of us can do in our everyday lives to conserve this essential resource.”
The city is urging residents to take the following water conservation steps:
- Only run the landscape irrigation system once per week, early in the morning or after sundown in accordance with the city’s approved watering schedules. Please visit www.cityftmyers.com to verify your home’s irrigation schedule.
- During these months, avoid washing cars at home or using highly wasteful water pressure machinery.
- Avoid running the dishwasher unless it is completely full.
- Close the water when soaping dishes and brushing teeth.
- Fix leaky faucets and toilets.
- Take a shower rather than a bath.
- Don’t use the toilet as a trash can.
- Install water efficient faucets and toilers.
“Committing to water conservation as a community is crucial, especially during these coming months,” said City Manager, Marty Lawing. “If we all follow these tips, we will ensure that our reserve tank levels remain high for the duration of the peak season. Our system improvements are working, which is making a difference for all our residents; but, we can’t let our guard down. We have to prioritize water conservation in every household to avoid encountering difficulties in the future.”
Public Information Officer Liz Bello-Matthews estimates that residents will need to conserve until about early June.
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