An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Seminole County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

UF study promotes reducing outdoor water usage

Growing up, we are taught to save water by turning the faucet off while we brush our teeth, or by taking short showers instead of baths. Every bit of saved water is important, but recent research indicates that water use in our yards can really move the needle.

“Florida is facing a water crisis and we all have a part to play in protecting our state’s water,” said Nick Taylor, UF/IFAS state specialized Extension agent and leader of H2OSAV, the program that led the study. “The work we do indoors to reduce water use is important, but what can make the greatest difference is changing how we water our landscapes.”

Previous research by UF/IFAS found that the highest water users spend 60 to 70% of their total water use on their yards. Many homes in Florida do not have an irrigation system. For those that do, reducing outdoor water use is the key to making truly impactful steps towards water conservation.

This study analyzed data from more than 1 million homes across nine Florida counties. They found that the average home with an irrigation system uses at least 991 gallons of water each time they water their lawn. This is equivalent to showering for more than eight hours, doing 37 loads of laundry in a high efficiency washing machine or running the dishwasher 50 times.