The Southwest Florida Water Management District recently declared a Modified Phase 1 Water Shortage for several local jurisdictions, including Pasco, Hernando and Hillsborough counties.
To reduce water use, the Water Management District has placed limitations on lawn watering.
Even before the water shortage was declared, the Water Management District had prepared a number of tips to help residents reduce water use during the holidays.
Here’s a condensed version of those pointers, prepared by Katherine Munson, lead communications coordinator for the Water Management District:
- Defrosting frozen foods: Defrost frozen foods in the refrigerator or the microwave instead of running hot water over them. Rinse vegetables and fruits in a sink or pan filled with water instead of under running water. This water can then be reused to water houseplants. A running faucet can use approximately 2 gallons of water per minute.
- Washing dishes by hand: When washing dishes by hand, fill one sink or basin with soapy water and fill the rinsing sink one-third to one-half full. Avoid letting the water run continuously in the rinsing sink.
Scrape food scraps into the garbage can or a composting bin, rather than rinsing them into the sink’s garbage disposal. A garbage disposal uses approximately 2 gallons of water per minute.
- Using the dishwasher: Run your dishwasher only when you have a full load. Standard dishwashers can use 5 gallons of water or more per load.
- When cooking: Select the proper size pans. Large pans require more cooking water than may be necessary.
- Prepping your house to be away: Check for indoor and outdoor leaks before you head out. If you have a permanent in-ground irrigation system, make sure your controller is set to follow local water restrictions or turned to the “off” position if your lawn and landscape are not in need of additional water. Also, confirm that you have a functioning rain shut-off device for your irrigation system to account for natural rainfall that might occur while you’re away.
- Shopping for water-saving gifts: Look for WaterSense or ENERGY STAR labeled products to help friends and family save water and money on utility bills long after the holidays are over. A WaterSense labeled smart irrigation controller can save an average home up to 15,000 gallons of water a year.
- Find more water conservation tips? Visit the Water Management District’s website at WaterMatters.org/Water101.
Published November 29, 2023