Drought Season Water guidelines - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Drought Season Water guidelines

Residents should follow local (county or city) water conservation ordinances. Local ordinances prohibit irrigation between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., or between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. November through May is Florida's dry season, when rainfall is less abundant, and demand is very high. Within this region, every day, each person uses about 175 gallons of water! That's twice the national average. Continuing conservation as a "way of life" can help to avoid, or at least lessen the likelihood of future water shortages, and inconvenient restrictions.

Many residents have already adopted this ethic of conservation, and with their partnership, together we saved billions of gallons of water during very trying times!

To continue that successful partnership, we are asking residents to voluntarily limit lawn watering to no more than 3 times a week:

Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays for those with home addresses ending with ODD numbers (1,3,5,7,9)

Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays for those with home addresses ending with EVEN numbers (0,2,4,6,8) or those with no number in the address.

During the drought -- which stretched from the Autumn of 2000 through the Summer of 2001 -- many residents learned that their lawns survived, even thrived on reduced watering. Billions of gallons of water were saved!

Watering in the early hours of the morning, or after 5 p.m. means more water goes to your landscape, and less water is lost to the wind or sun. Lawns and other plants benefit most from a deep watering; a single application of about 3/4 of an inch of water.

Generally, during the dry season (November-May), the average lawn only needs about an inch of water every 7 to 10 days. In the rainy season (June-October), lawns need only 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch of water every 2-3 days. That means you can skip irrigating when rain does your watering for you!

Over-watering lawns means the grass will have shallow roots and be susceptible to diseases. It will need more fertilizer and more maintenance -- costing YOU more money and more time.

Getting a rain gauge/rain sensor for your sprinkler system is a VERY good investment, because it can turn off your system when nature has brought the rain your lawn needs.

Set your mower at its highest level, to allow grass blades to be about 3 inches long. The longer blades of grass develop deeper roots, and shade the soil so water is better retained.

As our population increases, with new residents and tourists -- more and more we will need to make water conservation a way of life -- until the project to rebuild our regional system and add additional storage is completed over the next 20 years.

Water lawns only when they need it. Learn about Xeriscape -- which means planting the right kinds of plants in the right places, and maintaining them properly.

From the SFWMD

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