Florida is not only the Sunshine State, it is also a state with many waterways. Florida is surrounded on three sides by water, with many lakes, streams, creeks and rivers in its interior. Not all of this water is fresh or readily available for people’s uses. In addition, Florida’s weather typically has long periods of wet weather that may be followed by long periods of dry weather, making conservation an important part of Florida life.
The St. Johns River Water Management District is committed to water conservation and has been for many years. A district core mission is protecting and ensuring the sustainability of Florida’s water resources, both belowground in the Floridan aquifer system and aboveground in our many waterways.
Water conservation is the cornerstone of Florida’s water sustainability. As part of its consumptive use permitting process, the district requires all permit holders to use water as efficiently as possible. Water supply utilities are required to implement conservation rate structures, perform water audits to ensure system efficiency and develop programs for the use of reclaimed water.
Industry, agriculture and recreational users, such as golf courses, must use reclaimed water or stormwater for irrigation where feasible and implement additional rigorous water conservation measures. Agricultural water users must demonstrate water conservation techniques by upgrading to more efficient irrigation systems and implementing best management practices. Golf courses are required to reduce the amount of acreage irrigated, install irrigation systems that reduce the volume of water used, and install soil moisture and rain sensors.
The district offers cost-sharing funding throughout the year for projects that assist in enhancing conservation efforts. Funding may be available for local governments, agricultural interests and other entities.
The district also promotes water conservation year-round through presentations to stakeholder groups, educational programs for youth, participation in various professional organizations and public events, and similar activities.