Water is a shared resource that interconnects the environment, economy, and our quality of life in South Florida. As Florida's population increases, so does the need for all residents to conserve. Saving water is easy and economical. Here are many ways to conserve water both inside and outside your home.
Save Water and Money by Fixing Leaks
Leaks – from toilets or faucets or irrigation systems – can result in increases in your water bill and damage to your home, as well as thousands of wasted gallons of water. A single leaky faucet can waste 100 gallons in a day! Begin with an audit to find leaks so they may be repaired as soon as possible.
For toilets do a dye tablet or food coloring test to check for hidden leaks. Be sure to flush the coloring after 10-15 minutes to prevent staining. Outdoors, check for broken or misaligned sprinkler heads. Faucets typically leak because of old gaskets, washers or O-rings and corroded valve seats. Today, most faucets can be categorized as "washerless" (port-type faucets) or compression (washer). Note: A washerless faucet does not mean it will never leak! Rather, the parts will last longer since their design minimizes friction and wear. When repairing this type of faucet or requesting service on one, it is vital that you know the brand name or have a sample of the part you require. Get step-by-step instructions for repairing leaks and other water saving tips using the links below:
The South Florida Water Management District is partnering with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to bring to you WaterSense, a national program that offers a simple way to choose appliances and other products that use less water.
Compute Your Water Use... And See How Much You Can Save
Ever wonder how much water you and your family use in a typical day? The Water Conservation Calculator will add it up for you and show you how much you could save with more efficient fixtures and appliances.
Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Conserves Water
Landscaping the Florida-Friendly way means using low maintenance plants and environmentally sustainable practices. Florida-Friendly landscapes may incorporate both native and non-native plants. Learn how you can have a beautiful landscape that could save you time, energy and money while protecting our future. Find out more from your county's Florida Yards & Neighborhoods (FYN) program.
More Florida-Friendly Resources
Top 10 Tips for the Home Gardener
In the region, year-round landscape irrigation conservation measures limiting landscape irrigation are in effect. Some local communities have additional local water restrictions. You should adapt your watering to fit these limits on landscape irrigation.
- Water Infrequently, Deeply and Thoroughly
Most lawns need about 3/4 to 1 inch of water once per week, or once every two weeks when the weather cools. Water can come from rain, or from irrigation. Over-watering creates shallow roots, making plants more vulnerable to disease and pests, as well as to drought.
- Water at the Right Time of Day
Water early in the day, especially in warmer weather, when evaporation rates are lowest.
- Watch Your Lawn Instead of a Schedule or Calendar
Your lawn needs watering when:
Grass blades are folded in half
Grass blades are blue-gray
Your footprint remains on the lawn
- Use Drip or Micro-Irrigation Systems and Save Water
These systems deliver water to the root of plants, so much less is lost to the atmosphere.
- Install a Rain Sensor
This recognizes when nature brings the water your lawn needs and shuts off automatic sprinklers.
- Keep Your Irrigation System in Check
Inspect your irrigation system frequently for leaks and overspray to conserve water.
Adding mulch helps to keep water in the soil around plants. At least 2 inches is suggested around shrubs, trees, annuals and vegetable and flower gardens.
- Attract Wildlife
Choose plants with seeds, flowers, or berries to attract birds and insects. This can help manage pests, reducing the need for pesticides.
- Remove Weeds; Add Florida-Friendly Plants
Weeds or other unwanted plants use water. Removing them means more water for the plants you want.
- Adjust Your Lawnmower Blades and Keep Them Sharp
Most lawns are healthiest when blades are 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches long. Longer blades shade the soil and keep in water. Clean, sharp cuts cause less trauma to grass blades, making the grass more resistant to disease.
Improving Water Quality - Tips on using fertilizers, pesticides and managing water within your landscape or neighborhood.