Water conservation is the most important action we can take to sustain our water supplies, meet future needs and reduce demands on Florida’s water-dependent ecosystems such as springs, rivers, lakes and wetlands. Water conservation activities can be implemented by utilities, sometimes utilizing cost-share programs of the water management districts; through regulation, such as landscape irrigation restrictions; but most importantly, water conservation can be implemented by YOU!
Water conservation measures, adoption of year-round landscape irrigation restrictions, increased use of reclaimed water and the use of Florida-Friendly landscaping techniques together have resulted in significant lowering of the per capita water use rates. For example, in 1995, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated the statewide public supply gross per capita at 170.2 gallons per day (gpcd) and the public supply residential per capita at 103 gpcd. By 2010, the public supply gross per capita average dropped to 134 gpcd, a 21 percent reduction, and the public supply residential per capita dropped to 84 gpcd, an 18 percent reduction.
What YOU can do!
Check faucets and pipes for leaks. A small drip from a worn faucet washer can waste 20 gallons of water per day; larger leaks can waste hundreds of gallons.
Use your dishwasher and washing machine only for full loads. When possible, avoid washing during heavy downpours.
Minimize use of kitchen sink garbage disposal units. The units require a lot of water to operate properly and also add to the volume of solids in a septic tank, which can lead to maintenance problems. Instead of using a garbage disposal, compost kitchen scraps and use the nutrient-rich compost to enhance yard or garden soil.
Add mulch to reduce evaporation. Mulching reduces water needed in a garden by as much as 50 percent. It also has the added benefit of preventing weed growth, deterring pests, stabilizing soil temperature, and, as it decomposes, providing nutrients to the soil.
Harvest rain to water flower beds, herb gardens and potted plants. Rain is free, and it's beneficial for plants because rain does not contain hard minerals.
Choose native plants that are adapted to the area and need less water.
Check hose and sprinkler connections for leaks – a drop wasted each second can add up to a couple of gallons each day.
On slopes, plant native species that will retain water and help reduce runoff.
Irrigate your lawn with reclaimed water. To find out if reclaimed water is available in your neighborhood, contact your utility company.
Do not water the lawn in rainy weather.
To find out more about water conservation, visit some of the below websites.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.