Audubon’s Jane Graham presented Cooper City, Florida with Audubon Florida’s Excellence in Water Conservation Award. Enjoy Jane’s report and congratulations to Cooper City on your conservation leadership!
It was an honor to present the 2012 Audubon Florida Excellence in Water Conservation Award to the City of Cooper City at the Cooper City Commission meeting last night. I was joined by Steve Holmes, the new Executive Director of South Florida Audubon Society and Carole Morris of the South Florida Water Management District.
The Audubon Florida Excellence in Water Conservation award celebrates outstanding commitment to caring for Florida’s water resources and encouraging Floridians to save water for the environment. This is the first ever award of this kind from Audubon Florida. One of our goals is to draw awareness to the importance of water conservation– the cheapest, most environmentally friendly, and effective way to protect Florida’s treasured water resources. One in three Floridians depend on the Everglades for fresh water so conserving water means protecting the Everglades.
Cooper City’s outstanding water conservation program “You Win-We all Win” exemplifies a commitment to saving water for the environment. The simple act of saving water can have enormous benefits. A few years ago Cooper City faced the prospect of having to spend $12 million on a new water treatment plant or asking the South Florida Water Management District for an additional allocation of water for public water supplies. Instead, Cooper City developed innovative water conservation program- You Win, We All Win program that asked residents to save 5% of total water use by 2013. It is not even 2013 yet and water savings almost doubled, without the city having to spend those extra millions of dollars on a new treatment plant.
Some of the program’s highlights include a competition between the city’s homeowners associations to see which team could save the most water, and specialized attention to the city’s highest water users to audit and reduce their water usage. There is also a special focus on public education through outreach to schools and the media to encourage citizens to conserve water. Mike Bailey,Cooper City’s Utilities Director deserves credit for developing this innovative approach. The program’s success proves that individual actions may seem to have small impacts day to day but when an entire community engages in a water conservation lifestyle there are incredible results.
As we near the end of April, now known as Water Conservation Month in Florida, it is time to look at our water usage habits and reflect on what we can do to conserve water on a daily basis. For tips on how you can help, please see our fact sheet: “Top 10 Tips for Saving Water in Florida”
We want to know: What do you do to conserve water? Tell us in the comment section below or on the Protect the WEB Facebook Page!