Letter to the editor – Help save 1 billion gallons of water this winter by watering only every other week

Even in Florida, lawns and landscapes take a break during the winter and naturally go dormant. During December, January and February, landscapes typically need less irrigation, so now is a great time to train your lawn to sip water instead of guzzling it.

On Dec. 3, the St. Johns River Water Management District launched its winter “Skip A Week” water conservation campaign and is asking everyone to voluntarily skip every other week of lawn wateringIf property owners who irrigate skipped every other week of watering this winter, north and east-central Florida could save more than a billion gallons of water.  

Lawn and landscape irrigation accounts for more than half of all residential water use, so it is important to follow year-round watering restrictions that help ensure the efficient use of water. Research shows, ½ to ¾ inch of water per irrigation zone every 10–14 days is sufficient during winter months. However, if you see signs that your grass needs water, such as wilting blades, manually turn on your irrigation system, saturate the root zone and then let the soil dry, which encourages healthy, deep root growth.  

Skipping every other week is as easy as manually turning off your irrigation system. Using less water encourages roots to grow deeper, which makes them more drought-tolerant and less susceptible to pests and disease.

Your help is critical in meeting the current and future water supply needs of our region. You can learn more about Skip a Week on our website at www.sjrwmd.com/skipaweek. You’ll also find tips on year-round water conservation and efficient irrigation at www.sjrwmd.com/water-conservation.

Ann B. Shortelle, Ph.D.

Executive Director

St. Johns River Water Management District