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Florida residents conserving water, survey says

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Floridians are conserving water, according to a survey by the University of Florida’s Instutitue of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

More than half of the 500 Florida residents surveyed said they use low-flow shower heads and toilets, and 65 percent turn off the faucet when they brush their teeth. Additionally, 65 percent use recycled water to irrigate their lawn.

The survey also shows Floridians are more concerned with water quality than quantity.

Jack Payne, senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources at UF, said having good clean water is vitally important for residents. He said Floridians are taking plenty of day-to-day actions in order to preserve the natural resource.

“Water is not all the same,” Payne said. “Water that is not of good quality is harmful to even recreation and to fishing. I think the quality applies to the overall quality of life people are hoping to continue to have.”

Payne said water is important because it affects so many aspects of Floridian life. In order to stress this to citizens, he said, IFAS extensions in every Florida county are hosting programs to teach the importance of Florida’s water.

“I’m very proud of the fact that many of our county agent offices, county extension offices are now doing water schools for community leaders, for business owners, for homeowners about the future challenges we’ll have with water,” Payne said.

Though the survey results showed Floridians taking steps to preserve the state’s water, Payne said there is still work to be done and it’s IFAS’s responsibility to make it happen.

“This was a survey that helped us understand that people are aware that water is a valuable commodity,” Payne said. “We can use this information to address further areas of conservation.”

Emily Stanton wrote this story online.

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