Published: Mar 23, 2011 10:22 PM EDT
Updated: Mar 23, 2011 7:28 PM EDT

The south Florida water management district is imposing mandatory restrictions on the use of water throughout the region.    It means:  Homeowners can water their lawns only 2 days a week, at certain times of the day.  Any violations could lead to a citation and a fine.

"It is a very dry period and the forecast says more dry weather to come this spring," said Phil Flood of the water district in Ft. Myers.   "We must conserve.   If it gets worse, we have to impose even more restrictive rules on water use."

Farmers who draw from the Caloosahatchee River or Lake Okeechobee must cut back water use by 15 percent.  That goes for all golf courses as well -- a 15% reduction in watering.

Ken Pufahl of Lee County has lived in the area for 33 years.  He doubts that the drought is really as bad as water managers are saying.   "They do this to give themselves  something to do.   I do not think it's really that dry.   We have had worse droughts.  There is plenty of water,  we just have to pull it out of the ground," he told WINK News. 

The rules affect nurseries, but do not call for homeowners to stop washing their cars.   Flood says it would be wise for people to pull their cars onto their lawns and wash their cars, so the water runs off onto the grass.