Sarasota County has declared a state of emergency due to dry conditions and water shortage. The order includes a temporary residential burn ban and a ban on residential lawn irrigation using potable water and is effective county-wide until further notice. County officials say they saw demand for 31 million gallons of water on Tuesday—a new record. More than 50 percent of that water went into the environment, officials say, mostly in the form of irrigation.
Sarasota County is also reducing the amount of water it receives from Manatee County while increasing the amount of water received from the Peace River Authority, the county said on Facebook. That means residents who live north of Bee Ridge Road may experience low water pressure.
The county is also experiencing a drought and risk of fire is at a high level. "The county team continues to work diligently to return water pressure to normal levels but due to multiple external factors such as the dry weather and customer usage, it is difficult to estimate when that may occur," county officials wrote on Facebook. "The county was aware of this type of situation occurring and have already been working toward a permanent solution."