Floridians' Engagement in Landscape Best Practices to Protect Water Resources: Information from a 2018 Survey

A rain barrel used to water plants at the Indigo Green Store in Gainesville, Florida. Gardening, watering plants, sustainable living, UF/IFAS Photo: Tyler Jones.

Extension programs are most effective when informed by a deep understanding of the target audience. To guide programs in Florida’s managed landscapes, especially pertaining to water quality and conservation, faculty from the UF/IFAS Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology conduct an annual statewide survey. The survey gathers data that includes common landscape elements, neighborhood characteristics, engagement in irrigation and fertilizer best practices, and learning preferences. This new 5-page publication of the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication presents highlights from the 2018 statewide survey with recommendations for how to use the information. Written by Laura A. Warner, Esen Momol, Claire Lewis, Tom Wichman, Wendy Wilber, and A. J. Reisinger.
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc345

Exploring Relationships among Social Norms, Aesthetics, HOA Regulations and Water Conservation

lawn irrigation

In the United States, landscape irrigation often consumes 50% or more of residential water used, and aesthetics may take preference over water-conserving elements in the landscape. Other factors such as perceived social norms and homeowners' association (HOA) regulations also impact water conservation behaviors. Binary logistic regression estimated the impact of aesthetics, perceived social norms, and HOA regulations on water conservation intentions. Findings revealed that when individuals placed a higher-than-average value on aesthetics and perceived stronger social support for conservation, home irrigation users had greater intent to conserve water. This new 4-page publication of the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication was written by Amanda D. Ali and Laura A. Sanagorski Warner.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc331

Meeting US Nursery and Greenhouse Growers’ Needs with Water Conservation Extension Programs

A coiled water hose awaits use in UF's Fifield Garden. Horticulture, irrigation, water, maintenance, spigot, lawn care. UF/IFAS Photo: Tyler Jones

This 5-page document presents results of a study designed to understand the knowledge level, adoption rate, and levels of continuance associated with eight water conservation technologies among nursery and greenhouse growers. Written by Laura A. Sanagorski Warner, Alexa J. Lamm, Sarah A. White, Paul R. Fisher, and Peyton N. Beattie and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, January 2019.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc327

Estimating Benefits of Residential Outdoor Water Conservation: A Step-by-Step Guide

This 9-page fact sheet written by Tatiana Borisova, Laura A. Warner, Jennison Searcy, Anil Kumar Chaudhary, and Michael Dukes and published by the UF Department of Food and Resource Economics in February 2017 was developed to help Extension agents, water-conservation managers, and homeowners estimate the economic benefits of residential outdoor water conservation. It provides guidance for reporting benefits, including lowered utility bills for homeowners, reduced water-delivery costs for utilities, and increased water supply. This publication also offers an example of an impact statement.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fe1009

Household Water Usage and Irrigation Practices

A coiled water hose awaits use in UF's Fifield Garden. Horticulture, irrigation, water, maintenance, spigot, lawn care. UF/IFAS Photo: Tyler Jones

Water pollution and drought in the United States have made water scarcity a widespread concern. Currently, residential consumers account for most urban water use, and meaningful programs that lead to water conservation rely on a comprehensive understanding of how consumers use water inside and outside their homes. This 5-page fact sheet written by Hayk Khachatryan, Alicia Rihn, and Michael Dukes and published by the Department of Food and Resource Economics outlines University of Florida researchers’ assessments of current US household indoor and outdoor water use to assist policy makers and researchers with creating incentives for homeowners to conserve water.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fe996

Engaging High Water Users in Water Conservation #1: High Water Users' Experiences and Perceptions of Water

A watering tin and gardening gloves at a home garden.

Florida has an abundance of water, but still faces an increased pressure on water resources because of a growing population, prosperous tourism, and an active agricultural industry. This five-page fact sheet is the first in a series discussing how Extension can improve high water users' engagement in water conservation by focusing on high water users' characteristics, experiences with water issues, and perceptions of water. Written by Pei-wen Huang and Alexa J. Lamm and published by the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc255

Using the Decision-Ade(TM) Segmentation Strategy to Better Understand Extension Audiences

Some home occupants are more bothered by their utility bill than others.

Decision-Ade™ is a tool Extension can use to better understand how residents with a range of household budgets feel about their utility bills. Analyzing households in terms of both income and utility bill “botheredness” creates a more comprehensive picture of that household’s utility use and its willingness to modify utility consumption relative to other households. This 5-page fact sheet uses survey data of Florida residents to demonstrate the insights Decision Ade™ can provide and how those insights can inform Extension programming. Written by Randall Cantrell, Laura Warner, Joy Rumble, and Alexa Lamm, and published by the UF Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, July 2015.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fy1461

Encouraging Landscape Water-Conservation Behaviors #1: Tailoring Programs To Florida Residents Who Use Irrigation in the Home Landscape

Figure 1. Level of importance of Florida issues reported by Floridians who use irrigation in the home landscape (N = 1063)

To better promote water-conservation practices among homeowners who irrigate their landscaping, Extension professionals must first have a clear understanding of this target audience’s habits, beliefs, and needs. This 10-page fact sheet recommends that Extension professionals analyze their audiences through several factors, including their interest in water conservation and knowledge of water issues and laws. Written by Laura A. Warner, Emmett Martin, Alexa Lamm, Joy Rumble, and Randall Cantrell, and published by the UF Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, May 2015. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc199

 

Engaging Consumers in At-Home Water Conservation: A Guide for Extension

man and dog enjoying the sunset by the waterWith a growing urban population and increased demands on water for recreational and agricultural purposes, Florida will have to identify a solution to its water quality and quantity issues. Although all Florida residents will play a part in conserving water in the future, the ability of Extension faculty to work with consumers and encourage new water conservation behaviors at home will be vital. This 4-page fact sheet provides information to Extension faculty about the water conservation behaviors in which Florida residents currently engage, water conservation product ownership, and public interest in water-related topics. Written by Caroline G. Roper and Alexa J. Lamm, and published by the UF Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, September 2014.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc169

Extension and the Environment: Understanding Florida Residents' Perceptions of Environmental Water-Related Topics

water dropletBy understanding Florida residents’ perceptions of water quality and quantity issues, Extension faculty can better communicate with them about water quantity and quality issues. This 4-page fact sheet explores Florida residents’ perceptions of water topics related to environmental issues. Written by Caroline G. Roper and Alexa J. Lamm, and published by the UF Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, September 2014.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc167

AE453 Gray Water Reuse in Florida

AE453, a 5-page illustrated fact sheet by Christopher J. Martinez, provides an overview of the recycling of gray water, the ways that gray water can potentially be used, and the regulations and guidelines for gray water reuse in Florida, as well as discussion of some of the potential barriers to gray water reuse in Florida and elsewhere. Includes references. Published by the UF Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, January 2010.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ae453

FE756 Conservation Pricing for Residential Water Supply

FE756, a 7-page fact sheet by Tatiana Borisova, Burcin Unel, and Colin Rawls, defines the criteria used to design and evaluate conservation-based rates, considers alternative rate structures, and briefly discusses challenges posed by conservation-oriented rates for utility companies. Includes references. Published by the UF Department of Food and Resource Economics, November 2008.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FE756