Mainscape tracks rainfall and evapotranspiration (ET) rates on a weekly basis. This allows us to better steward our customers’ irrigation systems and the water resource used. We started out 2023 very hot dry earlier than usual in the second week in February. Temperatures were hotter than past years and this continued through our normal hot and dry season. Typically, we see significant relief starting in mid-May into June through September as we move into rainy/hurricane season. Historically, starting in October we start to see a significant reduction in rainfall from the rainy season which has averaged over 7” each month down to under 2” for the winter month into spring. This is all historical data but the issue this year is that our rainy season has been very sporadic and our rainfall starting in January has not been as much as is expected. Below is our Rainfall Tracker showing YTD information:
As you can see, all areas are behind YTD rainfall totals and Ft. Myers is extremely behind. Already behind, we are getting ready to move into our second dry season that was mentioned above with lake levels already lower than normal due to the lack of rainfall. The lack of rain combined with the hotter than normal year can and will cause issues throughout our landscapes consisting of but not limited to items below:
- Stressed landscape due to lack of rain and only being able to water 2 days a week or less depending on your location and local restrictions.
- Lowered lake levels exposing lake banks that will be susceptible to erosion.
- Lowered lake levels can cause more clogging of irrigation heads as water quality decreases with lake levels.
- Low lake levels are a result of less rainfall and local municipalities often enact stricter water restrictions to preserve the water we do have, which means less water for our landscapes.
The last item mentioned should be discussed further since we may be exposed to more strict restrictions in the months ahead which means the district may reduce the number of days and hours allowed for irrigation of our landscapes. Mainscape will continue to manage the water we do have in preparation for this possibility. This includes utilizing “cycle and soak” to avoid run-off, maintaining all rain shut-off devices, and operating systems within the correct parameters for the landscape requirements (proper zone run-times).
Mainscape will continue to monitor this situation and communicate with our customers to understand the impacts water restrictions will have on our landscapes. Should you have any questions about your community or property, please reach out to us through our Customer Service team.