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SFWMD Encourages Lee and Collier County Water Users to Conserve Water Amid Dry Conditions

In South Florida, most of the water we use comes from underground aquifers, including in Lee and Collier counties. As a direct result of below-average rainfall for the last five months, groundwater levels in aquifers beneath Lee and Collier counties are low. Drier than average conditions in these counties are forecasted to persist for the remainder of the dry season (end of May).

The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) recommends residents and businesses in Lee and Collier counties practice water conservation measures to protect the region’s aquifers and water resources.

The majority of residential water use occurs outdoors with landscape irrigation accounting for approximately 50 percent of home water use. One of the most important things local residents can do to protect our regional water sources is to follow local irrigation ordinances and inspect their irrigation systems. Irrigation systems should be free of leaks and be in good working order. Rainfall is forecasted this weekend for Lee and Collier counties, and SFWMD encourages residents to turn off irrigation systems when rainfall is projected.

Residents can learn more about things they can do around the house to conserve water:
• Ensure automatic irrigation control rain sensors are operating properly.
• Install aerators in kitchen and bathroom sinks.
• Switch to WaterSense and high-efficiency products including shower heads, bathroom faucets and toilets.
• Implement Florida-Friendly landscaping by following its 9 principles, including using native plants.
• Update appliances like dishwashers and washing machines to Energy Star rated products.
• Wash only full loads of laundry.
• Thaw frozen food in the refrigerator.
• Don’t rinse your dishes before placing them in the dishwasher. Run only full loads of dishes.

By reducing irrigation demands and conserving water, residents can slow the aquifer’s water level decline until the rainy season begins. SFWMD scientists will continue to closely monitor aquifer conditions and may recommend additional actions to protect our region’s water resources.

The South Florida Water Management District is a regional governmental agency that manages the water resources in the southern part of the state. It is the oldest and largest of the state’s five water management districts. Our mission is to safeguard and restore South Florida’s water resources and ecosystems, protect our communities from flooding, and meet the region’s water needs while connecting with the public and stakeholders.

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SBA South Florida Newsletter, March 2022