Congratulations to the City of Stuart for receiving Audubon Florida’s third annual Excellence in Water Conservation Award.
Each April, Audubon recognizes an outstanding municipality or utility with the Excellence in Water Conservation award. Recipients must demonstrate a commitment to caring for Florida’s finite water resources.
The City of Stuart demonstrated an exceptional commitment to promote a community wide water ethic, under the leadership of project coordinator Mary Kindel. By implementing smart conservation techniques, Stuart successfully avoided the need to build a reverse osmosis plant – saving taxpayers an estimated $13 million.
Jane Graham presented Mayor Troy McDonald with the award at Monday’s City Commission meeting. Audubon of Martin County President John Nelson and South Florida Water Management District Governing Board Vice-Chairman Kevin Powers testified in support and congratulations to the City of Stuart.
Public education is a key focus of Stuart’s 20 year conservation program. Through community events like “Saturday in the Park”, rain barrel decoration contests, and school tours of the water treatment plant, Stuart is making water conservation a way of life for its residents. Notably, there is a water usage barometer in a prominent location in town so people can see how they are doing. Here’s a picture of Stuart’s water conservation mascot Sammi the Sailfish with the barometer “How low Can you Go?” In addition, the plan includes rebates and retrofits for showers, toilets, and other water saving devices for its residents and businesses.
Through these efforts, the City of Stuart aims to reduce water usage by 23% in 20 years. Since 2008, the city has already reduced water usage by 16%.
Keep it up Stuart. As Water Conservation Month comes to a close, we must conserve water year round. One in three Floridians depend on the Everglades for fresh water so conserving water means protecting the Everglades.