2nd UF Water Institute Symposium Abstract

Submitter's Name Mary McCready
Session Name Poster Session: Human Dimensions of Water Sustainability 2
Category Human dimensions of water sustainability
Poster Number 112
Author(s) Mary McCready,  Miami-Dade County Extension
  Laura Vasquez,  Miami-Dade County Extension
  Don Pybas, Miami-Dade County Extension
  Irrigation Control to Conserve Water in Miami-Dade County. A Collaborative Effort between Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department and Cooperative Extension.
  In 2006, Miami-Dade County developed the Water Use Efficiency Plan to promote water conservation. This plan utilized conservation strategies including; rebate programs and irrigation system assessments. The Florida Yards & Neighborhoods (FYN) Water Use Efficiency Program started in 2006 with a grant from the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) to conduct irrigation assessments at homeowners associations (HOAs) and provide them with free soil moisture sensors. In 2007, the program was funded by the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department (MDWASD) and the number of HOAs to be targeted was increased. In 2007, 10 HOAs participated and 50 participated in 2008. The Urban Conservation Unit (UCU) was developed in 2008 at the Extension Service, through funding by MDWASD, to expand the program to 200 single family homes (SFH) and 25 HOAs in 2009. The UCU provides the irrigation assessments and distributes the soil moisture sensors and educational materials. In 2010 the program will target 35 HOAs and 120 SFHs. In addition to providing the irrigation assessment, the UCU conducts a second visit to each site to ensure that the soil moisture sensor has been installed and is programmed correctly. Since the program began, 192 participants have received irrigation assessments, educational materials pertaining to proper irrigation and landscape maintenance based on IFAS recommendations as well as soil moisture sensors to control the irrigation system. This program is assisting the county to reach its water conservation goals. In general, homeowners are interested in irrigating more efficiently but are in need of education on how to improve their irrigation practices. While this program requires a lot of time and hands-on-work with each individual SFH and HOA, the estimated water savings from the educational materials and irrigation control technology will offset the necessary inputs to the program.