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Encouraging 'Rain-Watered Lawns' & Reducing Water Use in SWFL

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Photo: Florida Atlantic University/Wikimedia Creative Commons
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A sign at the entrance to a Wellington neighborhood is updated daily with rainfall amounts for the past week. A new study by Florida Atlantic University researchers finds posting the signs can save a lot of wasted water.

About half of a household's water is used to water lawns, according to estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency. A new study from Florida Atlantic University found an effective way to cut that water use by as much as 60 percent: a simple sign telling residents how much rainfall was already providing the roughly inch-per-week of water their lawns need.

FAU researcher and associate professor Dr. Tara Root with the Department of Geosciences joins Gulf Coast Live to share the results of the new study, "A Rain-Watered Lawn," and how simple outreach and small adjustments to the approach to lawn care in South Florida can lead to better informed, and more effective, lawn watering behavior.

Also joining the program is Ian Orlikoff, a certified arborist with Signature Tree Care in Naples, to discuss how the use of simple rain gardens, careful plant selection, and other landscaping choices can reduce a home's water use and water waste.

Matthew Smith is a reporter and producer of WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live.