Water Conservation Month: Week Two – Ways to Save Residential Water Outdoors

LIVE OAK, FL, April 14, 2014 –

CONTACT: Carree Olshansky
Water Conservation Specialist
Carree Olshansky
Water Conservation Specialist
Suwannee River Water Management District
386.362.1001 or 800.226.1066 (FL)

Water Conservation Month: Week Two – Ways to Save Residential Water Outdoors

Water demand in April, the last month of Florida’s dry season, is typically higher than in other months. This increase in water usage is a result of rising temperatures and establishing new residential landscapes. Landscape irrigation accounts for the largest percentage of household water use in the State of Florida.

Water is Florida’s most valued natural resource. The water that we use primarily comes from the aquifer, which is also the source of our drinking water. Water conservation is the least costly and easiest way to preserve our freshwater resources.

While there are many ways to save water indoors, there are also plenty of ways to save water outdoors.

Outdoor Cleaning:
 Wash your car on the grass, this will also water the lawn and prevent wasteful runoff.
 Equip your hoses with automatic shutoff nozzles for car washing and hand watering.
 Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways, sidewalks and decks.

Lawn and Garden – Watering:
 Water on your assigned day before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. to reduce water evaporation.
 Water your lawn in several short cycles rather than one long cycle; this will allow the water to be better absorbed.
 Only water your lawn when needed. You can tell this by simply walking across your lawn — if you leave footprints, then it is time to water.
 Use sprinklers with automatic timers, and preferably equipped with rain sensors.
 Adjust sprinklers so you only water the lawn, not the street or sidewalk.
It is important to follow the District’s lawn and landscape irrigation measures, which are in effect throughout the year. Additional information about the lawn and landscape irrigation measures is available at www.mysuwanneeriver.com.

Lawn and Garden – Planting:
 Group your plants according to their water needs.
 Use only drought-resistant or native plants and grass.
 Mulch around plants to hold moisture in, promote plant growth and reduce weeds.
 Weed your lawn and garden regularly. Weeds compete with other plants for water.
 Prune back heavy foliage. Reducing leaf area reduces water needs.
 Replace some of the grass in your yard with ground cover, shrub or landscaping rock.
 Adjust the height of lawnmower blades so that you never remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade. Shorter grass requires more water.
 Mow your lawn less frequently. Mowing your lawn too often can stress your lawn, causing it to need more water.

Implementing Florida Friendly Landscaping™ will conserve water, reduce fertilizer use, and protect our springs. Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ is a set of nine guiding principles which help protect natural resources and preserve Florida’s unique environment, while still allowing for a beautiful landscape. Visit www.floridayards.org for more information on landscaping the Florida-friendly way.

These actions will save water and money every time.

Visit www.mysuwanneeriver.com/waterconservation to learn about additional ways to save water outdoors.
During the month of April, the District is publishing a series of articles promoting water conservation. Water Conservation Month serves as an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of water.

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