STUART, Fla. — Technically Florida has entered the start of the rainy season, but sunny and dry conditions continue for much of the Sunshine State.
SPECIAL COVERAGE: Protecting Paradise
This has prompted the city of Stuart to encourage residents to limit their outdoor water use and conserve whenever possible.
City officials tweeted Tuesday that the issue is being caused by a substantial local rainfall deficit.
This is causing the city's water treatment plant to experience a high demand for potable water.
Every Drop Counts.— City of Stuart (@CityofStuartFL) May 25, 2021
Due to a substantial local rainfall deficit, the City of Stuart's Water Treatment Plant is experiencing high demand for potable water. We ask and encourage our water users to limit outdoor water use and to conserve whenever possible at this time. pic.twitter.com/85v6KT1oQG
Following an unusually wet summer and fall last year, dry conditions have persisted in South Florida and the Treasure Coast this winter.
"It's very dry. ... It's dry all over," said Stuart resident Steve Casola.
The lack of rain and hot Florida sun is scorching his grass and plants.
"You can see the grass is thin. It's shiny, it's dry and it needs a good rain shower," Casola said.
He hasn't turned his sprinklers on recently and he hasn't topped off his swimming pool.
"If you're watering twice a week, normally try to cut that back to even once a week. Make every effort you can," Stuart spokesman Ben Hogarth said.
Mike Woodside, the chief operator at the city's water treatment facility, said the dry conditions have led to a 10 percent increase in usage the last few weeks.
He's asking customers to conserve now to avoid any potential issues.
"It's up to everybody to conserve as much as they can. We're not asking you to stop using the water, we're just asking you to be mindful of how much you use," Woodside said.
The latest data from the Florida drought monitor data shows that much of Martin and Palm Beach County is experiencing abnormally dry conditions.