Frequently Asked Questions
What is Florida Water Starsm?
Florida Water Star is a voluntary certification program designed to increase water efficiency inside the home and in landscapes and irrigation systems. While many certification programs provide general guidelines for water efficiency, Florida Water Star specifically addresses uses relevant to Florida. Following Florida Water Star criteria in new and existing buildings will help sustain the area’s water resources for years to come.
Certification programs ensure that products meet a certain level of quality or performance. Many important programs have helped raise the bar for resource efficiency in buildings and development. The Florida Water Star program complements existing green programs but provides criteria specifically designed for water efficiency in Florida.
What are the benefits of water efficiency?
- Saving water saves energy. It takes a considerable amount of energy to deliver and treat the water we use every day. For example, letting your faucet run for five minutes uses about as much energy as letting a 60-watt light bulb run for 14 hours.
- Using water more efficiently helps maintain water supplies at safe levels, protecting human health and the environment.
Where is the program used?
The program consists of criteria for three types of construction/development:
Residential: The points-based Residential criteria can be implemented in housing projects in all price ranges. Florida Water Star certification can reduce water use by up to 48,000 gallons per year, saving up to $530 on annual utility bills. Those who seek certification of a new home choose the Silver tier for a basic certification or the Gold tier for a higher level of performance and recognition. A Retrofit tier is available for homeowners wanting to certify an existing home.
Commercial and Institutional: The Commercial and Institutional criteria focus on performance-based water conservation and encourage utility monitoring of water usage. The program requires documentation for the maintenance and upkeep of the landscape, irrigation and indoor fixtures. It is appropriate for a variety of commercial applications.
Community: The community version focuses on water efficiency and reducing water pollution on a community-wide level. This version encourages low impact development approaches as well as maximizing water efficiency at the lot level.
Why does the Southwest Florida Water Management District support Florida Water Star?
The Florida Water Star program provides a plan based on best management practices that encourages and promotes decisions about water use that will help sustain the area’s water resources for years to come.