The number of certifications being sought for water conservation increased 200 percent in 2016. Developed by the St. Johns River Water Management District and launched in 2007, the Florida Water Star program provides water conservation certification for homes, entire communities and commercial developments, the district announced in a Tuesday, April 4, press release.
“Water conservation achieved through programs like Florida Water Star continue to be a critical strategy in meeting current and future water supply demands,” St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle was quoted as saying in the press statement. “The district is dedicated to grassroots education and outreach programs that share with the public the importance of ongoing water conservation.”
“Our lawns and landscape account for about half of residential water use, which means a tremendous savings can be realized when we look outside our homes,” said district Water Conservation Coordinator Deirdre Irwin. “Florida Water Star integrates water conservation into daily life, making it easier for homeowners and business to save water.”
In its first 10 years, 4,100 residences have received water conservation certification through the program. The number of certifications being sought increased by 200 percent last year, from 79 homes in 2015 to 283 homes in 2016.
A recent evaluation of Florida Water Star found a 43 percent savings for outdoor water use where homeowners maintained their landscapes. Indoor water savings averaged 6.6 percent when compared to similar new homes. As part of the certification, standards and guidelines for water efficiency are included for indoor fixtures and appliances, landscape design and irrigation systems.
Today, the award-winning certification program is operated in partnership with the South Florida and Southwest Florida water management districts and the Florida Green Building Coalition. Through a partnership with the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Associations, Florida Water Star has accredited 325 professionals for installing and designing waterwise landscapes.
Certified homes and communities can be found in many areas across Florida, including Orlando, Jacksonville, Tampa, New Smyrna Beach, Gainesville, Palm Coast, Naples, Miami and in the panhandle.
April is Water Conservation Month, a designation intended to heighten public awareness about the variety of ways to reduce our water use. The designation is especially timely this year as it coincides with the issuance of several Water Shortage Warning Orders that encompass multiple counties across Florida intended to increase awareness of potential prolonged drought.
For additional water conservation tips to help you save money around the home, visit www.sjrwmd.com/waterconservation.