By Ann B. Shortelle, Ph.D. and Executive Director of the St. Johns River Water Management District
You can help us work toward saving a billion gallons of water this winter — and save money on your water bill.
Even in sunny Florida, lawns and landscapes take a break during the winter and naturally go dormant. During the cooler months of December, January and February, our landscapes typically need less water, and irrigation often isn’t needed at all, so now is a great time to save water without giving up curb appeal.
On Dec. 2, the St. Johns River Water Management District kicked off its annual “Skip A Week” water conservation message, part of our year-long “Water Less” campaign. “Skip A Week” asks residents who water their lawns to voluntarily skip every other week this winter.
While current irrigation restrictions do allow watering up to once a week during Eastern Standard Time, weekly irrigation isn’t always needed this time of year. If homeowners who do regularly water their yards simply skipped every other week this winter, more than a billion gallons of water could be saved across our 18 counties.
Skipping every other week is as easy as manually turning off your automatic sprinkler system. You’ll be training your grass to grow deeper root systems, which makes them more drought-tolerant and less susceptible to pests and disease. Overwatered lawns are weak lawns.
Research shows watering deeply every 10–14 days is generally plenty during winter months
If you do water your lawn — and even when you “Skip A Week” — remember that your watering day is based on your address: odd addresses irrigate on Saturday, even addresses irrigate on Sunday, and non-residential addresses water on Tuesday. Always water before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
We’re all in this together. Skipping every other week of sprinkling is a simple way to do your part to help the region meet current and future water supply needs and conserve our most precious water resources. You can learn more at WaterLessFlorida.com, where you’ll also find tips on year-round water conservation and efficient irrigation.