The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, with the State Legislature’s support, has declared May 19-25 Water Reuse Week to raise awareness of meeting Florida’s future water supply needs.
Residents can participate in water reuse and conservation practices to help ensure safe, clean and sustainable water resources.
Conservation practices include collecting rainwater, planting a rain garden, using car wash services that recycle water and connecting landscape irrigation to reclaimed water sources where available.
Using reclaimed water to irrigate landscapes is a way of conserving surface and groundwater resources. Using reclaimed water instead of quality drinking water for irrigation conserves fresh water resources.
Florida residents daily use more than 6 billion gallons of fresh water and produce billions of gallons of wastewater.
Leading the nation, Florida daily reuses more than 660 million gallons of reclaimed water, which conserves freshwater supplies and replenishes rivers, streams, lakes and the aquifers.
Use in landscaping, agriculture and golf courses drastically cuts down on fresh water use. Florida uses reclaimed water to irrigate more than 280,000 residences, 500 golf courses and hundreds of parks and schools.
Sheila Dunning is a Commercial Horticulture Extension agent at the Okaloosa County Extension office in Crestview.