Alachua County has joined numerous governments, utilities, and agencies across Florida in declaring April as Water Conservation Month.
To learn about water and ways to conserve it, look for the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department’s (EPD) Aquifer Awareness campaign on social media, billboards, and print media, or participate in an upcoming webinar on how to convert thirsty yards to Florida Friendly Landscaping (FFL). This webinar is on Wednesday, April 13, 2022, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Participants will learn about the benefits of FFL and about the County’s FFL for Homeowners Association’s (HOA) Code which prevents HOAs from prohibiting FFL.
Alachua County depends on the aquifer for drinking water, as do the springs, rivers, and lakes. “Water, especially high-quality potable water, is not as abundant as one may think, even in a state like Florida. That’s why we all need to do our part to conserve this precious resource upon which all life depends,” said Alachua County Environmental Protection Water Resources Senior Planner Eliana Bardi. “Past survey data shows that over 50% of Alachua County residents don’t know that the water we use for our yards, homes, and businesses all comes from the same source – the aquifer that also replenishes our springs, rivers, and lakes.”
Yards can account for almost 60% of residential water use, so they are a great place to start saving water and reducing utility bills. Those who have an automatic irrigation system are encouraged to turn it off, watch the weather, and wait to water. Established plants typically need less water, and residents may be able to turn off entire zones or reduce run times, saving water and money. In addition, every drop saved means more water is available for the springs and the future.