Water Conservation is the top priority of the Withlacoochee Regional Water Supply Authority (Authority) since its a key link between balancing current and future water needs by:
- ensuring a sufficient water supply without compromising the regions ability to meet future generations needs;
- increasing the efficient use of water by extending existing water supplies for new customers and by deferring increases in demand;
- providing efficient use of potable water supplies to reduce the risk of supply deficits during a water shortage or drought; and
- reducing energy requirements and greenhouse gas emissions, protecting air, water resources and the sustainability of environmentally sensitive lands and water resources.
The Authoritys 2010 Regional Water Supply Master Plan Update identifies water conservation as the most cost-efficient means to increase the availability of existing water in the region. Beginning in 2002, water conservation matching grants have been awarded to member governments by the Authority primarily to build a team of coordinators that oversee local programs for rebates, incentives, irrigation audits, outreach, media campaigns, education, and subsidies for installing low-flow devices. The goal has been to help the region comply with the Southwest Florida Water Management Districts (SWFWMD) rule seeking to reduce water demand from an average of 187 in 2008 to 150 gallons per day per capita by 2018. Cooperative Funding from the SWFWMD has been sought by the Authority to further off-set the local costs for specialized technical staff training for conducting landscape irrigation inspections services.
Possibly 20 to 30 years from now, expensive alternative water sources will need to be collaboratively developed for affordability purposes. When needed, alternatives to fresh groundwater would likely include water safely withdrawn from the Withlacoochee River, as approved and permitted by the water management district and the Department of Environmental Protection, as well as the potential for a desalination plant at the Crystal River power plant. In the future, users of the water will pay for the bonding needed to finance these alternative water systems, not the general local governments. At the present time however, water conservation programs are the most appropriate way for the Authority to help local governments extend the use of lower cost groundwater supplies.
Because water is a precious and finite resource, conservation is an important element of this regions water supply. The WRWSA plans, coordinates and helps to implement conservation in conjunction with member governments and utilities in the Withlacoochee region.
Conservation is also something individual residents can take part in to preserve a precious resource. Please consider these tips for using water efficiently:
- Water your lawn only when it really needs it, and only on your allowed day.
- Water lawns before 9 a.m. or after 5 p.m., when evaporation is lowest.
- Install low-volume toilets1.6 gallons or less.
- Use trash can for trash disposal, not the toilet.
- Fix dripping faucets.
- Adjust sprinklers so youre not watering sidewalks, the driveway or the street.
- Consider Xeriscaping your yard.
- Install water-saving devices on all faucets and showerheads.
- When remodeling, install water-saving appliances and fixtures.
- When landscaping, use native or drought-tolerant plants that require little water.
The following links provide some tips on how you can help to conserve water in the house as well as outdoors:
- WaterSense for easy practices to reduce water bills and environmental impacts from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website
You can help make a difference in conserving the regions water resources.