SWFWMD offering tips for Water Conservation Month

April historically one of driest months in region

Image courtesy Southwest Florida Water Management District

During its March meeting, the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s (District) Governing Board declared April Water Conservation Month, the District has announced.

“April is historically one of the driest months of the year and typically marks the peak demand season for public water suppliers,” a news release explains. The District also recently launched its Water 101 campaign “to educate new and existing residents as well as communities about how they can help protect local water resources and save water and money,” the release notes.

Through July 1, the release points out, the District is under a Modified Phase I Water Shortage, which prohibits “wasteful and unnecessary” water use and limits outdoor irrigation to one-day-per week in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties. “Twice-per-week lawn watering schedules remain in effect except where stricter measures have been imposed by local governments in the remainder of the District’s boundaries,” which includes Sarasota, Citrus, DeSoto, Hardee, Hernando, Manatee, Polk, and Sumter counties; portions of Charlotte, Highlands and Lake counties; the City of Dunnellon and The Villages in Marion County; and the portion of Gasparilla Island in Lee County, the release points out.

As of Jan. 1, 2023, Sarasota County allows landscape watering and irrigation only one day a week. This webpage explains the details.

“With these 10 simple tips,” the District release says, “you can lower your monthly water bill and do your part to save hundreds of gallons of water”:


  • Run your washing machine and dishwasher only when they are full.
  • Use the shortest clothes washing cycle for lightly soiled loads; normal and permanent-press wash cycles use more water.
  • Thaw frozen food in the refrigerator or microwave, not under running water.
  • “Scrape, don’t rinse, your dishes before loading in the dishwasher.
  • Install high-efficiency showerheads, faucets and toilets.”


  • “Check your home’s irrigation system for leaks.
  • “Turn off your irrigation system” and water only as needed.
  • “Don’t leave sprinklers unattended. Use a kitchen timer to remind yourself to turn sprinklers off.
  • “Use a hose with a shut-off nozzle when washing the car.
  • “Consider installing a rain barrel with a drip irrigation system for watering your landscaping. Rainwater is free and better for your plants because it doesn’t contain hard minerals.”

The release also notes that leaks “are the biggest water waster, both inside and outside of your home. You can use your water meter to check for leaks. Turn off all faucets and water-using appliances and make sure no one uses water during the testing period. Wait for the hot water heater and ice cube makers to refill and for regeneration of water softeners. Go to your water meter and record the current reading. Wait 30 minutes. (Remember, no water should be used during this period.) Read the meter again. If the reading has changed, you have a leak.”

For more information about water conservation, visit the District’s website at WaterMatters.org/Water101.