Water News

Oct. 11, 2019

Water Less banner image
Message from Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle

Join us in our Water Less campaign to save water and help sustain our water supply

The St. Johns River Water Management District promotes water conservation year-round, but it’s something that we’re especially enthusiastic to talk about this month. The District is launching a new “Water Less” campaign to help raise awareness for simple ways to integrate outdoor water conservation into our daily lives.

You may be surprised to hear that lawn and landscape irrigation makes up about half of daily residential water use. Depending on the time of year and weather conditions, our lawns don’t need all that water. Overwatering can promote weeds, insect pests and weakened grass roots. We have all seen broken or misdirected sprinkler heads spraying water onto sidewalks and pavement where it simply evaporates or trickles into storm drains. In addition to wasting water, the runoff from oversaturated yards often carries fertilizers, debris and nutrients into our natural waterways, negatively impacting water quality.

Throughout the Water Less campaign, we’ll shift our focus each season to reflect the unique water needs of our Florida lawns and landscaping:

  • Fall back — Encourages once a week watering as we enter the cooler holiday season.
  • Skip a Week — Makes sense during winter when lawns are dormant and need less water and fertilizer.
  • Did you set it and forget it? — You can take control of your irrigation system to make it work for you while also saving water.
  • Watch the weather, wait to water — A reminder in Florida’s typically rainy summer that there’s a good chance Mother Nature will water for you.

Utilities, homeowners’ associations and local governments and municipalities interested in water conservation play an incredibly important role in our Water Less initiative. This week, we began conducting a survey with the assistance of many partners throughout our 18-county district to help us better understand water use among residential property owners. We’re grateful to all those helping to raise awareness of the small behavior changes that can lead to big improvements for our precious water systems while still letting us love our lawns. Visit the campaign website, waterlessflorida.com, and follow us on social media to learn more and help us spread the Water Less message.

Farm hydration system
By partnering with the district through its ag cost-share program, a sod farmer replaced an inefficient irrigation system with a more water-efficient center pivot system.

Board approves ranking of agricultural projects to share in $1.56 million for water conservation, nutrient reduction

Thirteen agricultural projects will share in $1.56 million from the district to improve water conservation and reduce nutrient loading to area waterways. Projects approved by the district’s Governing Board on Oct. 8 are estimated to collectively conserve 2.37 million gallons of water each day and reduce total nitrogen by 38,222 pounds per year and total phosphorus by 5,483 pounds per year.

Calm waters on Lake Apopka
Construction is underway on a project that will help protect water quality in Lake Apopka.

Infrastructure project helps protect water quality in Lake Apopka

The district’s Governing Board awarded a contract Oct. 8 for construction services for a water quality project at the district’s Lake Apopka North Shore.

Dry September creating drought conditions in north Florida

Typically one of Florida’s wettest months of the year, this September was drier on average, according to data collected by the St. Johns River Water Management District, and drought conditions are developing in north Florida, with Baker County experiencing severe drought.

A full report outlining hydrological conditions was presented at the district’s October Governing Board meeting.

Job postings

Collage of district staff working
We have great job opportunities at the district.

Regulatory Scientist IV (negotiable), Assistant General Counsel II (two positions, Palatka), Hydrologist I (Maitland or Palm Bay), Business Support Specialist I (Palatka), Senior Paralegal (Palatka), Network and Systems Coordinator (negotiable), Invasive Plant Technician (Sunnyhill), Business Support Specialist II (Palatka), Professional Engineer (Palatka), Professional Engineer or Engineer Scientist (Palatka), Field Program Supervisor (Palatka), Senior Professional Engineer (Palatka), Technical Program Manager / Hydrologic Monitoring (Palatka), Surveying and Mapping Specialist (Palatka)

For more information visit: www.sjrwmd.com/jobs.

Water conservation tip

Water restrictions chart

Watering restrictions are based on time of year, time of day and your address. Get details on our website: www.sjrwmd.com/wateringrestrictions.

This week in district social media

If you aren’t following the district on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, here are some of the things you may have missed this week….

  • For #TrailTuesday, we encouraged you to explore the Fort Drum Marsh Conservation Area in Indian River County for more than 7 miles of trails through diverse plant communities. Take a quick walk or a long day hike in this marsh area that represents the southernmost reach of the St. Johns River’s headwaters. The area was acquired as part of the Upper St. Johns River Basin flood control project. For directions and a trail map, visit sjrwmd.com/lands/recreation/fort-drum-marsh
  • District staff were out in the community this week, including participating in the 2019 Marion County Water School program.
  • We gave a shout out to our Operations staff, who were pictured building new picnic shelters at the district’s Lake Apopka North Shore property.

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