Mayor Recognizes Homeowners for their Water-Wise Landscape
As the Tampa community prepares for stricter irrigation rules due to the regional water shortage, Mayor Jane Castor is honoring two Tampa homeowners for their water-efficient landscape.
This year’s Community Water Wise Award will be presented to homeowners Brian Bachleda and Daniel Hoeh who live in South Tampa. The annual competition recognizes attractive, healthy, water-wise landscapes across Tampa Bay. It is organized by the Tampa Water Department, Tampa Bay Water, and its regional partners, in collaboration with UF/IFAS Extension.
The announcement comes ahead of new water restrictions placed by the Southwest Florida Water Management District, impacting homeowners in Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco counties. Starting December 1, residents will only be allowed to irrigate once a week on their designated watering days. This is a change from the current enforceable twice-a-week watering restriction and will require all users with automated systems to adjust their irrigation controls.
"As our population grows and the demand for water in Tampa increases, it is more important than ever to conserve water and protect this precious resource," said Mayor Jane Castor. "As the Southwest Florida Water Management District has made clear this week, the water shortage is not to be taken lightly and we must take swift steps to address this issue that affects all of us."
On Tuesday, November 21, 2023, Mayor Castor will tour the award-winning landscape and present Brian and Daniel with the 2023 Community Water Wise Award, which is a custom mosaic steppingstone created by local artist, Heather Richardson. The media is invited to see this award presentation and visit the award-winning landscape.
Judges found that Brian and Daniel’s landscape incorporated the 9 principles of Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ including "water efficiently." The other eight include: right plant, right place, fertilize appropriately, mulch, attract wildlife, manage yard pests responsibly, recycle, reduce stormwater runoff, and protect the waterfront.
According to UF/IFAS, Florida homeowners use an average of 991 gallons of water every time they irrigate. Brian and Daniel were able to reduce their landscape’s water use to around 800 gallons for the entire month.
The Tampa Water Department provides free water conservation resources, information, and devices to customers. The Water Department’s conservation team also offers webinars and workshops on Florida-Friendly Landscaping™, Tampa’s water use restrictions, and other water conservation topics. Information on upcoming events can be found on Tampa.gov/Water/Outreach.