The St. Johns River Water Management District has launched a year-long “Water Less” campaign to help raise awareness about water conservation and communicate easy ways to integrate outdoor water conservation into Floridians’ daily lives.

“Many people don’t realize lawn and landscape irrigation makes up about half of Floridians’ daily residential water use,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “Year-round water conservation is an important way to help meet our water supply needs and help protect water quality while maintaining thriving lawns and landscapes. You can conserve water and still love your lawn.”

While the cumulative rainfall total is 3.7 inches below the long-term average over the last 12 months across the district’s 18-county region, smart water use is a year-round tool to maintain and manage your investment in your home, family, and future, Shortelle said.

Improving landscape irrigation practices can save water and improve your landscape’s quality at the same time. Overwatering can encourage mold and fungus, weaken grass roots and promote weeds and undesirable insects. Water is wasted when broken or misdirected sprinkler heads spray water onto sidewalks and pavement, and water runoff from oversaturated yards often carries fertilizers, debris, and nutrients into natural waterways, which leads to poor water quality.

The campaign kicked off in mid-October with a water conservation awareness survey. During the next year, the Water Less campaign theme will change each season to reflect the unique water needs of Florida lawns and landscaping. The campaign kicks off in November with “Fall Back” to encourage once-a-week watering as we enter cooler weather and to correspond with the annual Eastern Standard Time change to irrigation restrictions when outdoor watering is limited to no more than one day per week on scheduled days.

When lawns go dormant this winter and need less water, the campaign focus becomes “Skip a Week,” to encourage skipping every other week of irrigation. If homeowners skip every other week of watering this winter, north and east-central Florida could save more than a billion gallons of water.

In spring, the “Did you set it and forget it?” theme emphasizes taking control of your irrigation system to make it work for you while also saving water.

The summer Water Less campaign theme is “Watch the weather, wait to water” — a reminder in Florida’s typically rainy summer that there’s a good chance Mother Nature will water your yard for you.

Visit the campaign website, waterlessflorida.com, and follow the district on social media to learn more and help share the Water Less message.

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