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April 11, 2012

Outdoor water use typically accounts for up to 50 percent of water consumed by households. You can reduce your outdoor water consumption by taking a few simple steps.

While the Southwest Florida Water Management District advocates water conservation year-round, an extra effort is being made to promote conservation throughout April. Governments and water management districts throughout the state have declared April Water Conservation Month because April is traditionally one of the driest months of the year and typically marks the peak demand season for public water suppliers.

Here are some tips on saving water outdoors:

• Check the home’s irrigation system for leaks and potentially save up to 6,300 gallons of water per month.
• Turn off the home’s irrigation system and only water as needed and save up to 2,000 gallons each time a watering day is skipped.
• Don’t leave sprinklers unattended. Use a kitchen timer to remind yourself to turn sprinklers off.
• Use a hose with a shutoff nozzle when washing the car and save around 40 gallons per wash.

Consider installing a rain barrel with a drip irrigation system and collect rainwater for your landscaping. Rainwater is free and better for your plants because it doesn’t contain hard minerals. Many county extension offices have rain barrel demonstration exhibits and information on plants, gardening, composting and water conservation. Most even offer workshops on these subjects.

You can download or order the Districts’ free six-page “Saving Water Outdoors” brochure on the District’s website at To learn more about water conservation, or to schedule a speaker, please visit the District’s website at

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