PALATKA, Fla., March 8, 2022 — Water conservation is at the core of the St. Johns River Water Management District’s mission of protecting and ensuring the sustainability of Florida’s water supplies. The District’s Governing Board on Tuesday approved a proclamation that designates April 2022 as Water Conservation Month.
April has been formally recognized as Water Conservation Month in Florida for the past 22 years, as April is typically a dry month when water demands are higher due to springtime planting.
“Even the smallest changes can make a difference. It starts with changing old habits and can be as easy as following watering restrictions, checking your sprinkler systems for leaks and making sure your rain sensor is working,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Water Conservation Coordinator Deirdre Irwin.
As the Water Conservation Coordinator, Irwin spends a majority of her time educating homeowners, landscapers, utilities and local governments about how to reduce water use. Art Gallo, a Winter Springs resident whose home served as a pilot project, says he was able to save 123,750 gallons of water over a 13-month period by using the Smart Water Application Technologies (SWAT) system.
Gallo’s irrigation controller is weather-based and Wi-Fi enabled, which means it can be operated from a computer or cell phone. Weather-based controllers monitor changing weather conditions to prevent unnecessary watering and adjust a watering schedule to meet the needs of the plant or soil. With half of all water used in an average household going to outdoor irrigation, this technology can have a significant impact on water conservation.
More than half of all residential water use is outdoors for lawn and landscape irrigation. Watering wisely year-round promotes healthier lawns and landscapes and can save thousands of gallons of water per month, as well as save homeowners money. Overwatering a lawn can promote weeds and insect pests, as well as weakened grass roots.
In October 2021, the District launched the third year of its annual Water Less campaign that seeks to engage the public and stakeholder groups in activities that conserve water outdoors. Following Districtwide lawn watering rules helps ensure the efficient use of water for landscape irrigation. The rules specify the days when residents and businesses may water. These days depend on whether the property has an odd or even numbered address.
The rules allow irrigation up to two days a week, before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m., beginning March 13 to Nov. 6, 2022, and up to one day a week during the cooler months of Eastern Standard Time.
Helping residents understand the value of saving water is just one way the District educates the public. Every day, District staff promote water conservation through water supply planning work, permitting, District cost-share programs and communication and outreach programs.
For more tips on saving water, visit the District’s water conservation web pages at www.sjrwmd.com/waterconservation/savingwater or visit the Water Less campaign website at WaterLessFlorida.com. Follow the water conservation conversation at #sjrwmd #waterconservation #savewater.