Lake Okeechobee's low level is a major indication that South Florida is in a water shortage.

Lake Okeechobee's low level is a major indication that South Florida is in a water shortage. (South Florida Water Management District)

On the surface, it looks like a great forecast: Warm, sunny days straight through early next week.

The problem is we need rain in South Florida — bad.

The South Florida Water Management District on Tuesday declared the region is under a water shortage, the result of so little rainfall in the past five months, or since the start of the dry season.

As of Saturday, the district is restricting lawn watering to twice a week for all of its 7.7 million residents.

It also is imposing a number of other conservation measures, including a 15-percent cutback in golf course irrigation in Broward, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and a number of other counties.

All of this comes on the heels of the driest October-to-February period in 80 years and a dry season rain deficit of 7.72 inches as of Tuesday.

Lake Okeechobee, the region’s backup water supply, has fallen to 11.76 feet, or a couple feet below normal.

“This is a time for cooperation and shared adversity,” Carol Ann Wehle, the district’s Executive Director, said in a statement.

“The District will continue monitoring water levels to determine if additional actions are needed in the coming weeks for resource protection during the remainder of the dry season,” she added.

One of the primary reasons for the parched conditions: A moderate strength La Nina, which has acted to block rain systems from reaching this far south.

Today’s forecast: Sunny with highs in the low 80s and lows in the low 60s