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CONTACT: DEP Press Office, 850.245.2112, DEPNews@dep.state.fl.us 


~DEP encourages residents to implement water conservation strategies this and every month~

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection recognizes April as Water Conservation Month, a time dedicated to educating residents and visitors of the importance of protecting Florida's water resources and supply and everyday steps that can be taken at home to help.

Governor Rick Scott has recognized April as Water Conservation Month in a proclamation that emphasizes the importance of increasing awareness and prompting action for efficient use of the state's water resources.

"Our priority continues to be to ensure the sustainable supply and quality of our water," said Greg Munson, Deputy Secretary for Water Policy and Ecosystem Restoration. "This April is the perfect time for Floridians to join us in these efforts by learning more about water conservation."

For the last 16 months, the Department has led a statewide effort to improve consistency in the consumptive water use permitting programs implemented by the state’s five water management districts. As part of that process, the Department has taken steps to incentivize water conservation measures at the local level. The Department is also revising and expanding state rules to further increase Florida's use of reclaimed water. Even as the rules have been developed, the state's five water management districts continue to fund extensive water conservation initiatives through education campaigns and reclaimed water development projects.

Ongoing efforts statewide show that water conservation efforts are working. Florida remains one of the most water-efficient states in the nation. In 2011, Florida used more than 722 million gallons of reclaimed water every day to conserve freshwater and replenish rivers, streams, lakes and aquifers. Florida uses reclaimed water to irrigate 311,068 residences, 546 golf courses, 998 parks and 346 schools, according to 2011 data. As a result, Florida re-uses more water than any other state.

“On this 15th anniversary of April as water conservation month we would like to thank all that adopt and integrate conservation into their everyday routine," said Lisa Krentz, Water Use Efficiency Division Chair of the Florida Section of the American Water Works Association. "It is imperative we continue to recognize water is the keystone to life in Florida.”

Since most areas of Florida continue to struggle with drought conditions, water conservation is critical. Water conservation is the least costly and easiest plan to preserving our natural resources. Floridians can participate this month by implementing one or more of these 10 simple tips from the Southwest Florida Water Management District. These tips can help lower monthly water bills while helping to save hundreds of gallons of water:

Indoor Tips:

  • Only run your washing machine and dishwasher when they are full.
  • Use the shortest clothes washing cycle for lightly soiled loads.
  • Thaw frozen food in the refrigerator or microwave, not under running water.
  • Scrape, don’t rinse, your dishes before loading in the dishwasher.
  • Install high-efficiency showerheads, faucets and toilets.

Outdoor Tips:

  • Check your home’s irrigation system for leaks to save up to 6,300 gallons of water per month.
  • Turn off your home’s irrigation system and only water as needed; save up to 2,000 gallons each time a watering day is skipped.
  • Don’t leave sprinklers unattended. Use a kitchen timer to remind yourself to turn sprinklers off.
  • Use a hose with a shutoff nozzle when washing the car to save around 40 gallons per wash.
  • Consider installing a rain barrel with a drip irrigation system for watering your landscaping.  Rainwater is free and better for your plants because it doesn’t contain hard minerals.

For facts and information about water conservation throughout April, follow @FLDEPNews on Twitter.