July has been dubbed Smart Lawn Water Month in Suffolk County as a part of an initiative to urge residents to better conserve the essential natural resource.
Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski (D-Cutchogue), who sponsored the legislation, said the measure is part of the Our Water Our Livers campaign in collaboration with the Long Island Commission for Aquifer Protection to educate residents on the best times to water their lawns.
The Suffolk County Water Authority reports that 70% of water drawn from the aquifer that serves as the region’s sole source of drinking water is for outdoor use, which is mostly watering lawns. But much of that constitutes widespread overwatering, officials said.
“To see lawns being irrigated during a rainstorm, or in the midday heat, shows us measures must be adopted, particularly when it comes to lawn irrigation, so we can responsibly and sustainably preserve our water resources for future generations,” Krupski said.
“We as a community must take every opportunity to recharge our aquifer,” he added. “Although we had very heavy rains this month, this will not always be the case. Weather patterns are changing, and less frequent but more intense precipitation events are predicted. Preserving land and improving stormwater infrastructure will certainly help recharge our aquifer, so water is recharged, rather than running off into our bays, creeks and estuaries, carrying with it bacteria and pollution.”
The campaign includes in-person public outreach throughout the summer at local beaches, parks and events, where officials will offer educational materials, tips on water conservation, information on how Suffolk homeowners can receive a $50 credit on their water bill by purchasing water-saving devices and a chance to win a smart irrigation controller valued at $90.