Reduced Water Use
By far, outdoor irrigation contributes to the greatest amount of discretionary water use in the Tampa Bay area — up to 50 percent in some instances. With a number like that, using the right irrigation techniques and technologies can save significant amounts of water. Water Wise landscapes rely on natural rainfall or use water-thrifty microirrigation, hand watering, or properly calibrated irrigation systems.
With our unique environment, maintaining an attractive landscape in Florida can be a challenge. Water Wise landscapes reduce the burden focusing on low-maintenance, Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ plants. You can have a beautiful landscape that can save you time, energy and money.
In addition to reducing water use, Water Wise landscapes also help protect the environment through the use of sustainable practices. By using plants suited to the location, Water Wise landscapes minimize the need for fertilizers and pesticides that can be harmful to the environment. Plus, by incorporating features that retain storm water runoff, these landscapes can minimize the amount of pollutants reaching our waterways.
Becoming Water Wise
Making your landscape Water Wise does not have to be expensive or time-consuming. In fact, many Tampa Bay area residents have already experienced the benefits of Water Wise gardening. The principles are really quite simple. Restricting the use of turf to play and pet areas, and filling in with drought-tolerant plants and bushes are the first steps to a water-thrifty yard.
Finalists for the Water Wise awards will receive an on-site review and consultation from a Florida-Friendly Landscaping Agent with the University of Florida’s IFAS Extension service. You will get a chance to speak with professionals and learn how to take your landscape to the next level.
Winners will also receive, in addition to neighborhood bragging rights, a custom garden stepping stone hand-crafted by a local artist (or plaque for non-residential landscapes) and have the opportunity to be recognized and celebrated by their city or county elected officials. Join the growing group of proud Water Wise Award winners in using beautiful landscaping to help ensure a sustainable future for the Tampa Bay area.