WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -The Florida Water Wise Council has designated April as Florida's inaugural Water Conservation Month. With more than 100 volunteer members representing industries, organizations, and government agencies, the Florida Water Wise Council is striving to increase cooperation among diverse water-use interests. These include members of the agricultural community, the plumbing industry, utilities, developers, environmentalist, manufacturers, contractors, educators, and regulatory officials.
"Residential, commercial, agricultural, and industrial water-users have so many ways to save water that it's almost effortless." said Ron Hamel, council president and general manager of LaBelle-based Gulf Citrus Growers Association. "For example, fixing a leaking faucet, dripping at the rate of one drop per second, can save up to 2,700 gallons of water per year. Taking shorter showers and installing an ultra-low-flow showerhead also can save water indoors."
Outdoors, Xeriscape landscaping -- using drought-tolerant and site-appropriate trees and plants -- can reduce outdoor water consumption by as much as 80 percent, according to the council. The efficient use of lawn sprinklers can also help conserve water.
"To save water, citrus growers have converted to micro-jet irrigation systems, instead of the large, inefficient overhead spray guns used in the past," Hamel said. "This has resulted in a dramatic increase in water savings in agriculture, from 40 percent efficiency to 85 percent. Every business, every industry, and every homeowner can make a difference when it comes to conserving such a vital natural resource."
Sam Poole, Executive Director of the South Florida Water Management District, describes the importance of Water Conservation Month this way, "An extremely important element in our agency's mission is our responsibility to conserve and develop the region's water supply. It's everyone's responsibility to apply what we learn about water conservation to our daily routines to help save water. Throughout April, our goal is to educate south Florida about not only how to conserve our water resources, but also why it is so important to do so."
The Water Wise Council board of directors recently chose April for the state's first Water Conservation Month because, in typical years, it is the last month of the dry season when water needs are most acute. "The dry season typically starts in November and continues through April," said Bruce Adams, conservation manager at the South Florida Water Management District and a past president of the Florida Water Wise Council.
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