Despite rain, drought remains - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Despite rain, drought remains

Keetch Byram Drought Index Keetch Byram Drought Index

The Keetch-Byram drought index (KBDI) is a continuous reference scale for estimating the dryness of the soil and duff layers. The index increases for each day without rain (the amount of increase depends on the daily high temperature) and decreases when it rains. The scale ranges from 0 (no moisture deficit) to 800. The range of the index is determined by assuming that there is 8 inches of moisture in a saturated soil that is readily available to the vegetation.

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Despite the rain that much of the area received over the weekend, South Florida is still in a severe drought.

So much so, that authorities say property owners need to need to get serious about conserving or drastic steps will have to be taken.

The City of West Palm Beach is already on a one day a week watering rule.

Officials say if the drought continues like this by late summer, they could have to take it to the next step.

That would push the area into what's considered a "Phase 4" or critical water restriction level.

That would include rationing and a total ban on watering.  But the city's utility director doesn't think it's going to get to that point.

Right now the city is looking at new wells to draw water from, but those are not yet approved for drinking water.  Also, other parts of Palm Beach County could tighten watering rules, as well.

At this point, the city insists it is not going to run out of water, but people need to do their part by conserving.

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