5th UF Water Institute Symposium Abstract

Submitter's Name Morgan Hopkins
Session Name Poster Session - Policy & Behavior Change
Poster Number 25
Author(s) Morgan Hopkins,  UF/IFAS Extension, Miami Dade County (Presenting Author)
  Laura Vasquez,  UF/IFAS Extension, Miami Dade County
  Bertha Goldenberg, Miami Dade County Water and Sewer Department
  Evolution of a water conservation program: How Miami-Dade County is saving water
  I am applying for an Extension Scholarship. Miami-Dade County is no stranger to dealing with challenging situations as a direct result of water-related trends, cycles, and extreme events such as: sea level rise, drought, flooding, and saltwater intrusion. Since the establishment of the Water Use Efficiency Plan in 2006, Miami-Dade County has been developing and implementing water conservation measures and best management practices (BMPs) for commercial and residential entities to ensure sustainable management of local water resources. The Florida Yards & Neighborhoods (FYN) program has been involved since 2006, and expanded to include the Urban Conservation Unit (UCU) in 2008 to conduct irrigation assessments and rebates through the Landscape Irrigation Evaluations and Rebate Program for large properties and single family homes. The FYN program promotes water conservation through public education of the 9 Florida-Friendly Landscaping Principles in various outlets, such as yard certifications and rain barrel workshops. The UCU conducts irrigation system evaluations of properties that want to retrofit their systems with rebates that promote water use efficiency in the landscape. In addition to irrigation assessments, the FYN and UCU programs also conducts high efficiency showerhead exchanges. Our program has certified 103 properties as Florida-Friendly Landscapes since 2001. From 2006 to 2014, our program has conducted 95 rain barrel workshops to 2301 citizens, and distributed 1525 rain barrels. From 2006 to 2014, 254 large properties have received irrigation evaluations and rebates with an estimated total savings of 8,890,000 gallons per day. From 2009 to 2014, 690 single-family homes have received irrigation evaluations and rebates with an estimated total savings of 160,770 gallons per day. My objectives for the Symposium are to learn what strategies other water conservation programs in Florida are doing to reach their target customers, to learn more about water smart technologies as they relate to irrigation, and to learn more about how to educate citizens on the relationship between climate change, water, and the urban community. The partnership between Miami-Dade County Extension and Miami-Dade County Water and Sewer Department continues to evolve and educate citizens about water conservation and I plan to bring back the knowledge from the Symposium to ensure that our program continues to succeed and reach our county‚Äôs water efficiency goals.