Water Conservation-Outdoor Irrigation
Did you know that outdoor irrigation accounts for up to 50 percent of water use in Florida, and up to 50 percent of the water applied to lawns is lost to evaporation or runoff?
Turf grass is a key landscape component and normally the most commonly used single type of plant in the residential landscape. Florida’s irrigation of lawns and landscapes represents the single largest use of water from municipal water supplies (Haley, et al. 2007). One estimate indicates that four million acres of managed turf grass occurs in Florida, with 75% of these as residential lawns (Nagata, 2003).
How are we addressing the problem in Broward County?
Were you aware that South Florida is one of the wettest areas of the country? South Florida typically gets about 53 inches of rainfall a year. South Florida’s rainfall is often enough to meet the annual water needs of South Florida landscapes. Water restrictions for Broward County allow lawn irrigation 2 days a week for all property sizes. The best hours for maximum watering benefit is midnight to 7:00 AM or 4:00 PM to 11:59 PM.
Water Conservation Programs
Water conservation methods are very important. It can cost as little as 6 cents to 72 cents per 1,000 gallons of water saved. The cost of constructing alternative water supply facilities can exceed $7 per 1,000 gallons of water created (SFWMD).Broward County has an amazing outdoor water conservation program. NatureScape Irrigation Service (NIS) is offered in 18 Broward County water utilities. The NIS program targets large properties. Examples of some of the properties include government facilities, parks, schools, and multi-family residential complexes. The NatureScape program also partners with UF/IFAS Broward County faculty and staff to teach Florida Friendly Landscaping principles. Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ (FFL) use environmentally sustainable practices. You can read more about NatureScape Irrigation Services at: https://www.broward.org/waterresources/WaterConservation/Pages/Outdoor-Water-Conservation.aspx
Increase Florida Native Plants in Broward County Landscapes.
Did you know that Florida has about 2850 native plant species and of these 224 species are found nowhere else in the world? (Hostetler and Main 2016) Because Florida native plants are adapted to local environmental conditions they often require less watering. NatureScape Broward and Florida-Friendly Landscape provide habitat for native and migratory wildlife that conserve water and minimize the use of fertilizers and pesticides in addition to adding value to your home, it can save you money on your utility bills.
Let’s learn how you can have a beautiful landscape that could save you time, energy and money while protecting our future. Let’s reduce outdoor irrigation! Lets add Florida native plants in our landscapes. Our water is precious therefore we must take care of how we use it. You can learn more about Florida Friendly Landscaping program at https://ffl.ifas.ufl.edu/
To learn about Broward County Water Conservation programs and how to save water outdoors : http://www.broward.org/waterresources/WaterConservation/Pages/default.aspx
For more gardening and outdoor irrigation information or to request a garden tour of our native landscape, phone (954 357-5270) or visit us online at http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/broward/urban-horticulture-and-natural-resources/broward-master-gardener/;http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/broward/