Message from Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle

Water conservation is a key part of ensuring our long-term water supply

April 30, 2020

District employee setting sprinkler system
The District’s year-round water conservation efforts include sharing information on ensuring automatic sprinkler systems are properly functioning and set.

Trends show that total water use across the St. Johns River Water Management District is anticipated to increase from approximately 980 million gallons per day according to our most recent reports to 1.3 billion gallons per day by 2040 as our population continues to grow. Even with this growth, our region can enjoy a sustainable water supply with continued water conservation practices, expanded use of reclaimed water and other alternative sources.

We concentrate on water conservation daily, as it is firmly rooted in our core mission of protecting our water supply. It’s also an extra focus during April as we mark Water Conservation Month, along with many partners across the state.

Our staff work year-round to promote water conservation through many channels, including:

  • Collaboration with state and local governments, utilities and the state’s other water management districts, providing technical assistance, data, comprehensive plan reviews, and examples for local watering ordinances and rate structures.
  • Water supply planning, which includes promoting water conservation practices as part of the planning process, working with utilities and other water management districts.
  • Cost-share programs, providing significant funds to local governments, utilities and the ag community that helps pay for projects designed to improve water efficiencies in our communities.
  • Regulatory programming, which includes the Consumptive Use Permitting process, establishing and enforcing watering rules, and compliance reports.
  • District outreach to students, teachers and the community through our Blue School Grant Program, along with educational water conservation tools and other useful resources accessible to all on our website.

This year, our WaterLess campaign has been providing helpful tips for saving water outdoors, where more than half of residential water is used. We developed ideas you can use to improve your outdoor water conservation efforts at different times of the year, with our spring focus “Did you set it and forget it,” encouraging you to ensure your automatic sprinkler systems function properly.

We’ve also created new videos to provide other water-saving tips around the home and workplace, and, during this time of social distancing, we are presenting a series of free webinars to motivate everyone to take some simple steps and join us in conserving water (register at www.sjrwmd.com/education).

In addition, a timely reminder that the Central Florida Water Initiative Regional Supply Water Plan is available here for comment by stakeholders and the public. The plan identifies existing and projected water needs, as well as projects and funding sources to meet those needs in the CFWI planning area (Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Polk counties and southern Lake County), during the next 20 years. There’s also still time to join today’s 5 p.m. webinar and hear the plan’s details right from our experts.

It’s only through positive changes in our everyday water use behaviors, conscious water conservation practices and thoughtful planning like the CFWI collaboration that we will continue to manage and protect Florida’s precious water resources well into the future.

See our past stories