Were you aware that water usage in Northeast Florida has a governing body that is not your municipality? Water usage in all areas of Florida is governed by local water management districts. For Northeast Florida, the St. Johns River Water Management District is the governing body that monitors and dictates water usage.
The most limiting factor of building, developing and living in Florida is the clean water supply. As more and more people move in to the state, access to clean water becomes more of a priority. As a result, the water management districts in Florida have placed restrictions on the amount of water that can be used for residential lawn watering.
Within the St. Johns Water Management District, watering can be done twice per week depending on the last digit of your address. During daylight savings time from March until November, odd numbered addresses can water on Wednesdays and Saturdays, even numbered addresses on Thursdays and Sundays, nonresidential properties on Tuesdays and Fridays.
And the great wailing begins….
“Based on scientific analysis from the University of Florida IFAS program, healthy Florida lawns require no more than two days per week of water during the hot, dry season — less during rainy periods — and no more than one day a week during cooler weather. Additional irrigation is unnecessary and wasteful.”
There are times when additional watering is permissible so check the St. Johns Water Management District website for additional details.
The bottom line is well established lawns can survive with twice per week watering during the growing season and once per week in the winter. Watering any more than that wastes Florida’s most valuable resource. These watering restrictions also include water drawn from wells for the sole purpose of irrigation. For those that abuse these watering restrictions, there are fines and penalties that can be levied by the water management district.
Board members should check with their landscape maintenance provider to determine if their irrigation schedule is compliant with the water management districts guidelines.