Southeast Florida weighs sharp cut in water use

The South Florida Water Management District's ruling board meets today (May 14) to consider a 25 percent mandatory reduction in water pumped by city and country wellfields in the district's eight counties, including the southeast Gold Coast. Only a unlikely 2- to 3-inch rainfall across the southern half of the state would avert the cutback. The area is already under a mandatory 10 percent reduction in water supplies.

Cattle and citrus industry leaders said the drought -- the worst in Florida since 1971 -- was sure to reduce the supply, and thus raise prices, of beef and oranges later in the year.

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