Matt Blowers, Orange County Utilities Water Conservation Program manager, demonstrates the use of irrigation timers to utility customers in 2016.
Public utility customers in the St. Johns River Water Management District’s 18-county region use more than 544 million gallons of water each day on routine household activities. Water supply utilities permitted through the District must use water as efficiently as possible and are required to implement conservation rate structures, perform water audits to ensure system efficiency and develop programs for the use of reclaimed water whenever possible. Many have come up with additional create ways to promote the water conservation message. Today, Orange County Utilities takes its customers back to school.
Orange County Utilities
Education pays off, especially if you’re a customer of Orange County Utilities (OCU). OCU offers its customers a comprehensive water conservation program. The Water Wise Neighbor Program is designed to provide customers educational classes and water saving devices. The introductory class provides the customer with water-saving devices for inside the home, including showerheads, faucet aerators and a toilet voucher for replacing older 3.5-gallons-per-flush or higher toilets. The customer learns the importance of water conservation for future supply and is taught how to implement water efficiencies that make sense for their property.
Terri Thill, Orange County Utilities enforcement coordinator, leads a tour in 2016 of the Florida-Friendly demonstration garden.
These utilities have implemented novel approaches that result in meaningful water savings for their customers
The Water Wise Neighbor Program is part of OCU’s long-term vision for promoting water conservation. The program builds a positive relationship, providing a resource the customer can rely on as they realize greater water efficiencies and reduce unnecessary waste.
“By offering basic water conservation devices through the Water Wise Neighbor Program, Orange County Utilities hopes to establish a long-lasting partnership with our customers as they begin their water conservation journey. Additional classes, best management practices and more sophisticated devices will result in even greater water savings,” said Jacqueline Torbert, Orange County Utilities Water Division Manager.
For the past several weeks, we have highlighted the creative ways a handful of public water utilities in the District are encourage water conservation. Deirdre Irwin, the District’s water conservation coordinator, lauds each of the utilities as proponents of the philosophy that conservation is the cornerstone of sustainability of water resources in Florida.
“Measurable water conservation is an essential component of the District’s water use permits and utilities are at the forefront of quantifying conservation,” Irwin says. These utilities have implemented novel approaches that result in meaningful water savings for their customers.”
In this photo from 2016, Orange County Utilities’ Florida-Friendly demonstration garden shows the public how to conserve water outdoors.