Who do you think uses more water, agriculture or the average home user?
The answer is that the public supply uses the most water and it can be costly.
The average person in Northeast Florida uses 84 gallons per day, which includes water used outdoors.
Think about all the lawns and toilets flushing; this drains the wallet. Irrigation uses the most amount totaling half of an average home water use in northeast Florida followed by 12% with toilets.
The St. Johns Water River Water Management District says beyond home use, agriculture comes in second place. During dry years the two can trade rank when irrigation use ramps up but most of the time farmers depend on actively monitoring weather systems to keep irrigation costs low.
The good news is people’s water use has dropped 19% over the years despite Florida’s population increase.
It costs less to conserve water than to use alternative supplies. Our natural water supply is cheaper than reclaimed and far less expensive than desalinating ocean water.
Protecting this resource should start indoors around the home where 14% of indoor water usage is lost to leaks.
Toilets are the top indoor water users and the newer 1.28 gallon per flush systems are much more effective than older generations that wasted 3 to 5 gallons per flush.
Faucets and showers should use 1.4 gallons per minute or less.
Saving water outdoors has the most impact. Look for leaks around hose bibs. Select water-wise landscaping and reduce areas of irrigated turf. Try to maximize areas of shade with trees.
Irrigation should have an efficient design with correct scheduling and always check to make sure the heads are working properly.
Water no more than one hour per zone except for new plantings. Don’t just set it and forget it. During periods of wet weather shut of your automatic timer. Winter months need to be watered no more than once per week.
Check utilities for rebates to see how you can save money. And remember to:
- Replace leaking plumbing.
- Look for energy star appliances
- Use high efficiency toilets.
- Follow irrigation watering restrictions for your address