Saving for Those Non-Rainy Days!
Florida is called the Sunshine State, but we get our fair share of rain too. Most of the rain we receive in Florida happens in the summer, while spring is our dry-season. So, storing water when it rains and using it on dry days makes sense!
Saving rainwater for future, or “rainwater harvesting,” is an important part of a Florida-friendly landscape.
Rainwater harvesting is key to winning one of the coveted Tampa Bay Community Water-Wise Awards. Now in its 20th year, the awards program, sponsored by Tampa Bay Water, the UF/IFAS Extension and the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ program, recognizes homeowners and businesses who are committed to conserving water and protecting the environment by using the most water-efficient landscaping practices. If you would like to enter this year’s contest, visit tampabaywaterwise.org. Entries are due by June 30.
Rainwater harvesting and collection usually comes from your home’s roof and gutters and is stored in rain barrels or cisterns.
Here is why is rainwater harvesting so important:
- It reduces the amount of stormwater runoff that occurs, which helps reduce the amount of nutrients and contaminants that get washed into the waters in which we fish, swim and use as drinking water sources.
- Using stored rainwater instead of a home irrigation system can reduce your water bill!
- Rainwater harvesting reduces the use of drinking water for irrigation uses, keeping it reserved for drinking.
Rainwater harvesting works best on Florida-friendly landscapes – those that do not need much irrigation. The easiest and most inexpensive way to begin harvesting rainwater is with a rain barrel. Rainwater harvesting workshops are available through the University of Florida IFAS Extension program and teach you how to build and use a rain barrel.
To find a workshop near you, visit your local Extension’s website:
Watch the five-part video series that highlights previous winners of the Tampa Bay Community Water-Wise Award, and provides tips on how you can make your landscaping more water-efficient and Florida-friendly.
For more information on making your landscape “Water-Wise,” or to enter the contest, visit tampabaywaterwise.org.
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