Mandatory new watering restrictions by the Suwannee River Water Management District are a positive step but do not go far enough and may be difficult to enforce in Alachua County, officials and water-protection advocates say.
The restrictions take effect June 13 and apply to landscape watering, car washing, some golf course irrigation, agriculture and other uses.
Robert Knight, director of the Florida Springs Institute, said the drought is so severe that the restrictions — while good — are not as strong as they should be.
“It’s probably not nearly enough to deal with the magnitude of the problem,” Knight said. “It’s really encouraging to see (SRWMD) do this. This is a landmark, except they are exempting golf courses and there’s absolutely no reason fairways should be treated differently than people’s yards.”
Enforcement will be left to local government. Chris Bird, director of the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department, said the county will likely depend on residents reporting violations that they see others committing.