The City is authorized under Chapter, Article 10 of the City Code to declare three types of water-related situations requiring various actions by the public to conserve water use. The purpose of this section is to explain in layman's terms the application of these situations.
- When conditions indicate that the probability of a drought or other condition may cause a water shortage within the public water supply, the City Commission may declare a Water Watch to ask water customers to voluntarily
reduce water use. Voluntary measures may include limiting or eliminating non-essential uses of water such as:
- sprinkling of water on lawns, shrubs or trees (including golf courses);
- using water for swimming pools, fountains, and evaporative air conditioning systems; and
- preventing the unnecessary waste of water.
- When drought conditions or other conditions exist causing a major water supply shortage and present supplies are starting to decline, the City Commission may declare a Water Warning that will recommend
restrictions on all non-essential uses of water during the period of the Water Warning.
- When an emergency exists by reason of a shortage of water needed for essential uses, the City Commission shall declare a Water Emergency to impose mandatory
restrictions on water use during the period of the Water Emergency.
When a Water Emergency has been declared, Section 7-1007 of the City Code authorizes the City Manager to implement mandatory
water conservation measures, including, but not limited to:
- suspending new connections to the public water supply distribution system (not to include fire hydrants or those connections made pursuant to agreements entered into by the City prior to the effective date of the Water Emergency declaration);
- restricting the uses of watering one or more classes of water use, either wholly or in part;
- restricting the sale of water at coin-operated facilities; or
- imposing water rationing.
Additionally, Section 7-1008 of the City Code authorizes the City Commission to adopt, by ordinance, emergency water rates designed to encourage the conservation of water through price controls.
All of the aforementioned water situations continue until such time as the City Commission has declared an end to the specific declaration. Both the declaration and end of a water-related declaration must be adopted by a resolution and published in the official newspaper prior to being effective.
The City may prosecute violations of mandatory water-related declarations and regulations in Municipal Court. Penalties for non-compliance of water-related declarations may include fines of up to $500 and imprisonment not to exceed thirty days. The Municipal Judge will determine the penalty for violators.