Today we spoke with Jackie Lubuitz, Water Resources Program Assistant for UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County, about water conservation and irrigation.
Jackie graduated from New College of Florida in 2019 with a degree in Environmental Studies. She has worked to promote water conservation through education, outreach and program development. She is a firm believer that everyone should have access to clean water and that the key to maintaining future supplies is in our hands. was offered a position in the expanded office of Jackie helps people in her district become proactive about water and conservation.
Water covers over 71% of the earth, but very little fresh water is available for drinking. With 1,000 people moving to Florida every day, we will need 4.7 billion gallons per day by 2040….about 90% of Floridians depend on Florida’s groundwater for some of their water , 370 million gallons short.
With advances in desalination (for seawater) and increased use of gray water, as well as improved reclaimed water quality, we are well on our way.
how can i help
Switching from spray to drip irrigation saves each homeowner about 70%. You can find kits to reconfigure your old standard stick irrigation system. Beyond pumping rainwater from roofs, collecting gray water (bathtubs, laundry, pasta water, etc.) and using improved reclaimed water, we can all make a big difference to our water problems. .
A rain sensor can prevent the irrigation timer from turning off when you don’t need it. Having your system checked once a year (batteries, cork discs, etc.) will keep it running smoothly. An inflating disc triggers a switch that interrupts the irrigation cycle when the selected rainfall setting is reached. Simply turn on the system and wet the sensor with a hose. If it’s working, shut it down. You can also convert your pipe irrigation to a drip system. When the disk dries and shrinks, the switch is released and the system resumes its scheduled cycle.
Below are two links showing how to convert a pipe irrigation to a drip system.
Toilets, showers and sinks use the most water in your home. Get a low flow toilet or retrofit an old one. Using a tank dam or a 2 liter soda bottle in the tank will offset the amount of water required for cleaning.
Low-flow showers and the simple act of turning off the water when you don’t need it are ongoing thoughts. Just don’t leave water in while you brush your teeth for extra protection.
In April 2021, Jackie published an article titled “Want a Healthy Garden?” Less water!
It talks about training lawns and plants to send deeper roots to keep them cool and moist. Some states are so dry that all available rain contained in groundwater must flow only to the farms.
You can do your part by developing water-saving and efficiency habits. Think about the true value of water every time you turn on your faucet and find ways to use less water. You can use this calculator at the link to estimate water usage in your home. To start saving, try picking a few areas where you can reduce your weekly water consumption.
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next week: Labor Day Join us for the next sustainable living show on Monday, September 7th at 11am. There, we talk with José Duboux about developing sustainable livestock production systems.
If you’re looking for someone to save the world, look in the mirror.