The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) is recommending residents and businesses in Florida's Lower West Coast practice water conservation measures to protect the region's aquifers. In Florida, most of the fresh water we use comes from underground aquifers.
As a result of below-average rainfall for the last five months, groundwater levels in aquifers beneath Lehigh Acres and North Cape Coral are considered especially low for this time of year. The rainfall received this past weekend was positive, however drier than average conditions are forecasted to persist for the next two months.
One of the most important things residents can do to protect our regional water sources is to make sure their irrigation systems are functioning properly without leaks. All residents and businesses are also required to follow local irrigation restrictions.
The majority of residential water use occurs outdoors with irrigation accounting for 50 percent of home water use on average. South Florida yards normally need to be irrigated up to twice a week, even during the driest times of the year.
Residents can learn more about things they can do around the house to conserve water:
- Ensure rain sensors are operating properly.
- Install aerators in kitchen and bathroom sinks.
- Switch to WaterSense and high-efficiency products including shower heads, bathroom faucets and toilets.
- Implement Florida-Friendly landscaping by using native plants.
- Update appliances like dishwashers and washing machines to Energy Star rated products.
- Wash only full loads of laundry.
- Thaw frozen food in the refrigerator.
- Don't rinse your dishes before placing them in the dishwasher. Run only full loads of dishes.
By reducing irrigation demands and taking other conservation measures, such as the above, residents can slow the aquifer’s decline until the rainy season begins. SFWMD scientists will continue to closely monitor aquifer conditions and may recommend additional actions to protect our region's water resources.