Letter: April is water conservation month in Florida

Executive Director Ann B. Shortelle, Ph.D.
St. Johns River Water Management District

Dear Historic City News readers:

April is Water Conservation Month in Florida, an observance intended to heighten public awareness about the variety of ways we all can reduce our water use and preserve this critical resource for future generations of Floridians and visitors. Counties and cities across our 18-county region are adopting Water Conservation Month proclamations to show their commitment to protecting our water resources.

The St. Johns River Water Management District works to strike a balance between the needs of our residents and the needs of the environment. Even during the wettest times of the year in Florida, it’s still vitally important to conserve our water.

We have made strides in water conservation! For example, from 1995 to 2017 water use in our district decreased by 13% largely due to water conservation, while the population increased by 44%. Water conservation cost-share investment by the district in the last four years for agriculture and public supply tops $14 million and has resulted in water savings of more than 12 million gallons per day.

However, as our population continues to grow the need to protect our water supply grows as well. About half of the residential water used is for outdoor irrigation and year-round watering restrictions help ensure efficient use of water. Be smart and turn off the “automatic” sprinklers.  Water according to the current seasonal watering restrictions and only if it hasn’t rained.

Individually and collectively, we can make a difference. It starts with changing old habits and can be as easy as following watering restrictions, using water-efficient appliances and replacing landscape materials with drought–tolerant plants and mulches. Water conservation is a way of life, and saving water is the simplest and least expensive way to protect our precious water resources.