West Palm Beach city employees keep watchful eye for water restriction rule-breakers

Days are numbered for West Palm Beach water supply

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The city of West Palm Beach could run out of water in 45 days. The mayor says without any significant rainfall, the city's water supply could disappear even sooner than that.

Now residents in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach and South Palm Beach are under strict water restrictions. Until further notice those residents can only water their lawns on Wednesday or Thursday mornings, depending on the street address.

"I don't think the public realizes this is a critical issue. We haven't had rain, usually it starts in May, and it hasn't," says West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio.

Half of the water used in West Palm Beach goes to the grass. Muoio says the diminishing water supply can't support that anymore. She says the situation is so dire, all city employees are to look out for those breaking the water restriction rules.

"If I see someone watering, they're going to hear from me," says Muoio.

Forms are being handed out to police, and public utilities and parks employees to give out warnings, and ticket people watering at the unapproved time.

City commissioners discussed installing more pumps in Clear Lake, and continuing to buy 6 million gallons of water from Palm Beach County. The city is also using 20 million gallons of water from emergency wells every day.

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