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|SFWMD Issues Water Shortage Order for Northeastern
Portion of Cape Coral
Once a week irrigation restrictions in place amid dry
conditions in an effort to protect drinking water aquifer
CAPE CORAL, Fla. – In order to protect groundwater in the Mid-Hawthorn Aquifer,
the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) declared a water shortage
and issued mandatory irrigation restrictions today for a portion of Cape Coral and
unincorporated Lee County. Landscape irrigation is limited to one day a week in the
designated area for irrigation water supplied by private wells.
The Mid-Hawthorn Aquifer, located approximately 125 feet underground, provides
water to many private wells in this area. Water levels within this aquifer are at record
low levels due to a significant deficit in rainfall this year. The U.S. Drought Monitor
indicates that the Southwest Florida region is in an Abnormally Dry to Moderate
For residents within the designated area in the City of Cape Coral, the irrigation
Addresses that end in 0 can irrigate on Mondays,12-4 a.m.
Addresses that end in 1 can irrigate on Fridays, 4-8 a.m.
Addresses that end in 2 can irrigate on Thursdays, 12-4 a.m.
Addresses that end in 3 can irrigate on Wednesdays, 12-4 a.m.
Addresses that end in 4 can irrigate on Sundays, 12-4 a.m.
Addresses that end in 5 can irrigate on Saturdays, 12-4 a.m.
Addresses that end in 6 can irrigate on Thursdays, 4-8 a.m.
Addresses that end in 7 can irrigate on Wednesdays, 4-8 a.m.
Addresses that end in 8 can irrigate on Sundays, 4-8 a.m.
Addresses that end in 9 can irrigate on Saturdays, 4-8 a.m.
For example: if your address is 123 Main Street, your address ends in 3 and can
irrigate on Wednesdays between the hours of 12 a.m. (midnight) to 4 a.m.
For residents within the designated area in unincorporated Lee County, the
irrigation requirements are:
-Even-numbered addresses, installations with irrigation systems that irrigate both
even and odd-numbered addresses within the same zones, such as multi-family units
and homeowners’ associations, and rights-of-way or other locations with no address,
can irrigate only on Sundays.
-Odd-numbered addresses can irrigate only on Saturdays.
-Landscape irrigation users located in unincorporated portions
of northeastern Cape Coral, are prohibited from irrigating be-
tween the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on their assigned day.
-Low volume irrigation (i.e. drip irrigation and microjet irrigation)
shall be voluntarily reduced.
-Hand watering of existing landscape utilizing a self-canceling nozzle is allowed
anytime for no more than 10 minutes per area for stress relief or to prevent plant die-off.
The SFWMD uses specialized monitoring wells that measure water levels within the aquifer.
The impacted area is experiencing the lowest ever recorded level, and the irrigation restrictions
in place today are expected to reduce the decline in the water levels. Compared to each of the
last four years, the current elevation is approximately 15 feet lower. The aquifer is generally
recharged by seasonal rainfall each year, and water levels increase as the region receives rain.
The Southwest Florida region has experienced a very significant deficit in rainfall this year,
water levels have continued to decline and in just the past week, the aquifer dropped 0.5 feet.
“By limiting landscape irrigation, we can work together to protect the precious drinking water
aquifer that our communities rely on year-round. Private water wells used by homeowners may
become inoperable if water levels within the aquifer continue to decline at their current rate,”
said SFWMD Chief Communications and Public Policy Officer Sean Cooley. “The District
will continue to closely monitor water conditions, and we appreciate our partnership with the
community, City of Cape Coral, and Lee County as we work together to protect our drinking
water aquifers. We anticipate rescinding this order as soon as aquifer conditions improve.”
All residents and businesses across the region can also use these simple tips to save water:
-All landscape irrigation should comply with the allowed days and times as established in
your local government’s year-round landscape irrigation ordinance. Visit Lawn Watering
Restrictions to learn more. During the cooler winter months, lawns do not need to be irrigated
as frequently as summer months. Most of the time, one day of irrigation per week is sufficient
to maintain a healthy landscape.
-Check irrigation timers to ensure settings are correct and rain sensors are working properly.
Check irrigation systems to ensure they are working properly and test and repair broken pipes
and damaged sprinkler heads.
-Fix leaks. Finding and fixing water leaks conserves water, saves money and protects your home
-When utilizing water indoors, reduce shower durations, minimize loads of laundry, and only
run dishwashers when full.
–Landscape the Florida-Friendly Way by planting low maintenance plants using environmental-
ly sustainable practices.
-Read more Simple Steps to Save Water.
Conserving water year-round is an integral part of managing and protecting our water supplies
today and for future generations.
A water shortage warning issued on November 21, 2023 is still in effect for all of Collier and
Lee Counties. Residents with questions about the irrigation restrictions can visit SFWMD.gov/
Visit the City of Cape Coral’s Lawn Watering Restrictions webpage or you can visit Lee County’s
Lawn Watering Restrictions webpage for more specific information.
The South Florida Water Management District is a regional governmental agency that manages
the water resources in the southern part of the state. It is the oldest and largest of the state’s five
water management districts. Our mission is to safeguard and restore South Florida’s water
resources and ecosystems, protect our communities from flooding, and meet the region’s water
needs while connecting with the public and stakeholders.