Water Shortage Ordinance

Water Shortage Ordinance

As a result of the severe water shortage in Lake County, the City Commission passed the following Water Shortage Regulation: 

Sec. 15-15. Water shortage regulations 

a. Intent and purpose. It is the intent and purpose of this article to protect the water resources of the city from the harmful effects of overutilization during periods of water shortage and allocate available water supplies by assisting the St. Johns River Water Management District in the implementation of its water shortage plan. 

b. Definitions. For the purpose of this section the following terms, phrases, words and their derivatives shall have the meaning given herein. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future, words in the plural include the singular, and words in the singular include the plural. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory. 

District is the St. Johns River Water Management District Person is any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company, or organization of any kind. 

Water resource means any and all water on or beneath the surface of the ground, including natural or artificial water courses, lakes, ponds, or diffused surface water, and water percolating, standing, or flowing beneath the surface of the ground. Water shortage condition is when sufficient water is not available to meet present or anticipated needs of persons using the water resource, or when conditions are such as to require temporary reduction in total water usage within a particular area to protect the water resource from serious harm. A water shortage usually occurs due to drought. Water shortage emergency means that situation when the powers which can be exercised under part II, chapter 40C-21, Florida Administrative Code, are not sufficient to protect the public health, safety, or welfare, or the health of animals, fish, or aquatic life, or a public water supply, or commercial, industrial, agricultural, recreational, or other reasonable uses. 

c. Applicability. The provisions of this section shall apply to all persons using the water resource within the geographical areas subject to the "water shortage" or"water shortage emergency," as determined by the district, whether from public or privately owned water utility systems, private wells, or private connections with surface water bodies. 

d. Amendments to water shortage plan. Chapter 40C-21, Florida Administrative Code, as same may be amended from time to time, is incorporated herein by reference as a part of the city Code. 

e. Declaration of water shortage emergency. The declaration of a water shortage or water shortage emergency within all or any part of the city by the governing board or the executive director of the district shall invoke the provisions of this section. Upon such declaration all water use restrictions or other measures adopted by the district applicable to the city or any portion thereof, shall be subject to enforcement action pursuant to this section. Any violation of the provisions of Chapter 40C-21, Florida Administrative Code, or any order issued pursuant thereto, shall be a violation of this section. 

f. Enforcement. Every police officer or sheriff deputy having jurisdiction in the area governed by this section shall have the authority to enforce the provisions of this section. In addition, the city manager may also delegate enforcement responsibility for this section to other agencies and departments of city government. Enforcement shall be by way of a civil citation issued by the enforcing officer to the person or entity accused of violating this section, directing such person or entity to appear in county court to answer to the charges listed, or in lieu of personal appearance to pay to the city a civil fine as specified below if the accused does not wish to contest the charges. Enforcement may also be achieved through the process of notification leading to an appearance before the code enforcement board, subject to such penalties as are specified in the ordinances and statutes governing the operation of that board. 

g. Penalties. Violation of any provision of this section shall be subject to the penalties prescribed in the ordinances governing the code enforcement board if enforced by that method, and to the following penalties if this section is enforced by civil citation:

1.First violation: Written warning 
2.Second violation: Fifty dollars ($50.00) 
3.Subsequent violations: Increased by fifty dollars ($50.00) for each violation, with the fine per violation not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00)

Each day in violation of this section shall constitute a separate offense. Law enforcement officials shall provide violators with no more than one (1) written warning. The city, in addition to the civil sanctions contained herein, may take any other appropriate legal action, including but not limited to injunctive action, to enforce the provisions of this section. If the district rescinds or terminates a declaration of water shortage emergency and the accompanying water use restrictions to be enforced under this section, offenses cited under the rescinded or terminated water shortage emergency and use restrictions shall not apply in the calculation of penalties under any water shortage emergency subsequently declared or any water use restrictions applicable thereunder, and the enumeration of offenses committed by any one (1) person or entity under the later enacted water shortage emergency, in calculating any penalties imposed hereunder, shall begin anew without reference to offenses committed during any earlier water shortage emergency no longer in effect.


(Ord. No. 01-06, § I, 3-12-01)