Water Conservation

Water is a key driver of our health, environment, and economy. Therefore, it is critical that we, as citizens of Sarasota County, continue to foster a growing ethic to conserve water during periods of water abundance and scarcity.

Water might seem of little concern in Sarasota County, with streams and lakes dotting the landscape, and the vast Gulf of Mexico lapping up to the county’s western border. But water levels are tied closely to the county’s climate, which changes drastically through the course of a year. The four-month “wet season,” which runs from June through September, brings more than half the county’s annual rainfall. That gives way to the “dry season,” though, when less than half the annual rainfall is spread out over the remaining two-thirds of the year.

Drought — also a key characteristic of the Sarasota County climate — greatly affects local and regional water supplies. Though not easily defined, drought is generally considered to be a period of less-than-normal rainfall. Droughts are less predictable but just as much a part of our local climate as thunderstorms and hurricanes. Past droughts have led to strict water-use restrictions that disrupted everyday living.

Water storage reservoir at Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority in DeSoto County.
As a result, Sarasota County planners and water authority leaders collect and store water during the wet times to help offset the increased draw on supplies during dry seasons and droughts. This helps to secure a water supply that balances the competing demands of the environment with those of consumers, businesses, industries and others. A balanced approach is essential for maintaining the area's unique and biologically diverse rivers, lakes, and estuaries. By growing our community’s water conservation ethic, we can build our resiliency to drought, protecting ourselves and our properties.

Take Action!

You can do your part by creating habits of water conservation and efficiency. Consider the true value of water each time you turn on the tap, and figure out ways to cut your water use. This chart shows how much water you could save by switching from standard to water-efficient devices, like low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators.

Common Household DevicesWater UseWater Savings with Efficient Device
Standard deviceEfficient deviceDaily / Per UseAnnual
Showerhead ≥ 2.5 gal/min 1.5 gal/min 8.0 gal/day 2,920 gal
Faucet, bathroom 2.2 gal/min 1.0 gal/min 3.3 gal/day 1,205 gal
Toilet ≥ 1.6 gal/flush 1.3 gal/flush 0.3 gal/flush 548 gal
Faucet, kitchen ≥ 2.5 gal/min 1.5 gal/min 5.0 gal/day 1,825 gal
Dishwasher ≥ 11 gal/use 5.8 gal/use 5.2 gal/use 664 gal
Washing machine ≥ 43 gal/use 13 gal/use 30 gal/use 2,190 gal

Contribute to Sarasota County's growing water conservation ethic, essential to sustaining and protecting our water supply and preserving our quality of life. Have an irrigation system? Follow our 4-step approach for reducing your outdoor water consumption, and cutting your water bill in the process. Register for a class to learn more about using rain barrels to collect water, adopting Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ around your home or business, and others designed to help you conserve water. And visit our Extension office (get directions) during Water Conservation Month (April) for a free, low-flow faucet aerator and/or low-flow showerhead.

Conservation Resources

Make the Pledge

Commit to a growing water conservation ethic and receive free water-saving devices
The Water Cycle

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