Water Supply Indicators: Water DemandMore water will be used as population increases in the region; however, it is not necessary to use more water per person to accommodate that growth. There are ample opportunities for conservation. There are a host of water conservation measures that can be instituted in homes and businesses, from low-flow shower heads to water efficient toilets to automatic faucets. The biggest use of municipal water by far, at least 50%, is for landscaping. This is clearly an area where conservation could have some significant impacts. Many people unintentionally over-water their yards. Simple irrigation audits could have an impact. Use of compost, top dressed into existing lawns or incorporated into the soil for new lawns, can significantly increase soil water holding capacities, and therefore reduce water use. There are many water saving alternatives to St. Augustine lawns—variously known as water-smart landscapes, water wise landscapes, etc. In addition, many young people and empty-nesters are opting for more urban lifestyles living in town-homes or lofts. This trend represents a very significant savings in water use versus maintaining a home and yard in the suburbs.
Total water usage does not exactly get at conservation measures because wet or dry years will skew the landscaping numbers in particular, but long term trends in per capita water usage nonetheless will be indicative of the implementation of conservation measures.