Water restrictions have been tightened in a 16-county area of Florida as drought conditions persist.

The water shortage order affects these counties: Charlotte, Citrus, DeSoto, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota and Sumter.

The order was issued by the The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board.

Under the new water shortage order, lawn watering is reduced to once-per-week, and allowable watering hours also are reduced. Micro-irrigation and hand watering of non-lawn areas are still allowed any day, if needed.

There are also now limits on car washing, and homeowners' associations may not enforce any deed restrictions which could cause an increase in water use.

The updated, Phase III restrictions will remain in effect through Aug. 1.

Additional details regarding the watering of new lawns and plants, reclaimed water and other water uses can be found at WaterMatters.org/restrictions.