TAVARES — A partnership was entered into this week between the Lake County Board of County Commissioners and the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) that brings water conservation training to local professionals; and assists Lake County municipal water utility providers in obtaining science-based water conservation plans.
As part of the agreement, the SJRWMD will provide $30,000 to Lake County to fund a series of Florida Water StarSM training sessions for irrigation contractors and landscape professionals. The training, developed by SJRWMD in partnership with the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA), is a comprehensive water conservation program that focuses on Florida-friendly landscape alternatives and irrigation requirements that can have a major impact on water usage. Once participants complete the training and accompanying examination, they have the opportunity to become either a Florida Water StarSM Accredited Landscape or Irrigation Professional.
“I am pleased that the St. Johns River Water Management District has agreed to fund such a worthwhile program,” said County Commissioner Sean Parks. “This is a great opportunity for local businesses to not only receive this prestigious certification, but to also help residents implement water conservation initiatives. We are helping people and businesses save money by using less water, and I look forward to cooperating with the Lake County Home Builders Association to promote the business voluntary certification program.”
Commissioner Parks went on to state that his hope is that Lake County can serve as a model for other similar partnerships throughout the state.
The second phase of the initiative provides local municipal water utility providers an opportunity to participate in development of fact and science-based water conservation plans. Using end-user meter data provided by utilities, the District would be able to provide municipalities with a conservation plan tailored to their customer base and future needs.
The goal ultimately would be to provide utilities with a conservation plan that helps offset the need to pursue other alternative water sources in existing or future permits.
Both initiatives are being completely funded by SJRWMD, and require no matching or additional funding from the county.
For more information about water conservation initiatives, contact the Department of Conservation & Compliance at (352) 343-9639, or for information on the Florida Water StarSM program, contact SJRWMD at (386) 546-8437.