The summer season brings warm temperatures, bright sunshine – and an increased demand for water to irrigate lawns, gardens, and landscapes. Did you know you can help conserve South Florida’s precious water resources by watering wisely and following local irrigation ordinances?
July is Smart Irrigation Month, and we’re highlighting the ways South Floridians can make every drop count and save money this summer while supporting the protection of our water resources.
Approximately 50 percent of residential water is used for irrigation. A healthy landscape only needs 1 inch to 1.5 inches of water per week during the summer growing season. During the winter season, when a lawn goes dormant, it requires even less.
These simple irrigation tips can help you conserve water and save money all year long:
- Watch the weather, wait to water. Check the forecast to see if rain is on the way before turning on your irrigation system.
- Water efficiently. Avoid watering in the middle of the day, especially in warmer weather, when evaporation rates are highest.
- Keep your irrigation system in check. Inspect your irrigation system frequently for leaks and overspray to conserve water.
- Install a rain sensor. This recognizes when nature provides the water your lawn needs and shuts off automatic sprinklers.
- Use drip or micro-irrigation systems. These systems deliver water to the root of plants, so much less is lost to the atmosphere.
- Add Florida-Friendly plants. Florida-friendly landscaping is better suited to Florida's growing conditions and requires less water to remain healthy.
- Use mulch. This helps retain soil moisture and prevents weed growth.
- Follow local irrigation requirements. Know the time and the days of the week you can water based on year-round irrigation ordinances in your area.
The South Florida Water Management District and many local counties and municipalities establish year-round irrigation restrictions to help protect our water supply. These restrictions are designed to reduce unnecessary irrigation while still allowing enough water to maintain healthy landscapes year-round.