Become a Florida Water Star Florida Water Star is a voluntary, points-based certification program that recognizes and encourages water use efficiency in single-family homes. Homeowners, builders or developers meeting fundamental criteria for efficiently using water in residential irrigation, landscape design and indoor water-using fixtures and appliances can have their property certified. more »
Best Management Practices (BMPs) Utilities and local governments across the country are improving their operations to achieve water conservation. Adopt innovative ideas to reduce water loss and establish best management practices. more »
Conservation Grants and Matching Programs We work directly with communities and water utilities to provide funding for projects that conserve South Florida's freshwater resources. Find out how your utility can qualify for Alternative Water Supply or Water Reuse funding. more »
Conservation Toolbox – Resources for Conservation Messaging This toolbox includes a variety of documents and information to help governments and utilities get the word out to residents, HOAs and businesses that conserving water is easy and can be incorporated into daily life. Take time to review this collection of materials on the benefits of water conservation, and feel free to distribute the publications as is – or incorporate the messaging into your own materials. more »
Conserve Florida Water Clearinghouse Conserve Florida is an information clearinghouse that collects, analyzes and provides technical assistance to public water supply utilities and water managers. It was established to provide tools to improve water conservation through the development of utility-specific, goal-based water conservation programs. more »
Consumptive Water Use Permitting This type of permit allows the holder to withdraw a specified amount of water, either from the ground, a canal, a lake or a river. The water can be used for a public water supply; to irrigate crops, nursery plants or golf courses; for diversion and impoundment; dewatering; or for industrial processes. more »
EPA WaterSense The South Florida Water Management District is partnering with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to bring you WaterSense. It is a national program that offers a simple way to select appliances and other products that use less water – and perform as well or better than what you may already have in your home or business. more »
Guidance for Adoption of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Ordinances Local governments are strongly encouraged to adopt Florida-Friendly Landscaping ordinances. Florida-Friendly Landscaping principles protect water quality and some sensitive habitats while saving home and business owners time energy and money. The South Florida Water Management District and its partners have developed Florida-Friendly Landscaping model ordinances for cities and model covenants for developers and homeowner communities. District water conservation staff will assist local governments by reviewing draft ordinances for consistency in terminology and approach to help ensure contiguous standards. Florida-Friendly Landscaping Guidance Models for Ordinances, Covenants and Restrictions [PDF]
Learn more about the nine Florida-friendly Landscaping principles and general design standards. more »
Guidance for Water Conservation Plans Local governments updating comprehensive plans and public water supply utilities applying for or renewing consumptive use permits are required to produce a water conservation plan addressing, at a minimum, the eight mandatory elements outlined in the Basis Of Review. Click here for a Water Conservation Plan Template [PDF]
Get step-by-step instructions for completing each mandatory element. more »
The eight mandatory elements were created to formally incorporate water conservation into the Water Use Permit process. The elements consist of four municipal ordinances affecting the entire boundary of the enacting jurisdiction, adoption of a conservation based rate structure, implementation of leak detection and water conservation public education programs, and the feasibility of making reclaimed water available. A timetable implementation schedule is also required prior to the issuance or renewal of a public water supply water use permit. Click on each element in the table below for templates or language to use when developing your plan:
In new construction, installation of ultra-low volume plumbing fixtures in compliance with the following maximum flow volumes at 80 psi:
Toilets - 1.6 gal/flush
Showerheads - 2.5 gal/min
Faucets - 2 gal/min
Adoption of automatic landscape irrigation systems interrupter (rain or soil moisture sensor) ordinance
Any person who purchases and installs an automatic lawn sprinkler system must install, operate and maintain a rain sensor device or automatic switch which will override the irrigation cycle of the sprinkler system when adequate rainfall has occurred.
Adoption of a water conservation-based rate structure
A rate structure should include at least one of the following alternative components:
Increasing block rates
Quantity based surcharges and/or
Time of day pricing
Other assistance: Visit awwa.org for a discussion on conservation rate based structures. Also see:
Coming Soon: Model public education program to use as a reference when developing your own program.
Implementation of a leak detection and repair program (if >10% unaccounted for water loss)
If losses are >10% the plan must include:
Water auditing procedures
In-field leak detection efforts and leak repair
Number of man-hours devoted to leak detection
Type of leak detection equipment being used
An accounting of water saved through leak detection and repair
An analysis of reclaimed water feasibility
For those potable public water supply utilities controlling, either directly or indirectly, a wastewater treatment plant, an analysis of the economic, environmental and technical feasibility of making reclaimed water is available. For Guidelines for Preparation of Reuse Feasibility Studies (by Florida Department of Environmental Protection) visit: www.dep.state.fl.us/water/reuse/techdocs.htm
Additional water conservation measures There are many resources to assist public water supply utilities in identifying additional conservation measures to reduce consumption in their service area.
EZ Guide: a user-driven, decision-making data analysis program to help determine water conservation measures best suited to your service area.
WaterSense: an EPA-sponsored program that seeks to protect future water supplies by promoting water efficiency and enhancing the market for water-efficient products, programs and practices.
Managing Florida's Water The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, together with Florida's five water management districts, manages the quality and quantity of the state's water resources. Visit the following links to learn more:
State Conservation Statutes Learn about current Florida laws related to water conservation. more »
There are a number of state laws that require conservation measures, including:
Natural Resources; Conservation, Reclamation and Use: Chapter 373.185 - Local Xeriscape ordinances - Water management districts shall design and implement an incentive program to encourage all local governments within its district to adopt new ordinances or amend existing ordinances to require Xeriscape or Florida-friendly landscaping for development permitted after the effective date of the new or amended ordinance.
Natural Resources; Conservation, Reclamation and Use:Chapter 373.227 - Statewide water conservation program.
Natural Resources; Conservation, Reclamation and Use:Chapter 373.621 - Permitting and water conservation.
State Public Lands and Properties:Chapter 255.259 - Xeriscape or Florida-friendly landscaping on public property.
Counties:Chapter 125.568 - Water conservation, xeriscape and Florida-friendly landscaping.
Chapter 40E-21 – Florida Administrative Codes – South Florida Water Management District Water Shortage Plan – Contains detailed explanations of various legal and practical provisions of the water shortage rule. [116 pgs]
Florida Department of Environmental Protection:Rule 62-610.100: Florida Administrative Codes – Establish the encouragement and promotion of water conservation and reuse of reclaimed water as state objectives, and state that water conservation and reuse are in the public interest.
Local governments also may have ordinances promoting conservation: some restrict day-time irrigation; others require new residential and commercial construction to employ water-saving shower heads, toilets and other home appliances; and some require irrigation systems to use rain sensors to shut off systems when rain provides adequate water for landscapes.
Some water utilities or local governments offer rebates for the purchase of home appliances that are more efficient than older models, and use less water.
For more information on local ordinances, rebates and other local government incentives for conservation, check with YOUR city/town or county.
Water Reuse in South Florida Find out how other communities and utilities are conserving water with Water Reuse programs. more »