UF Study: About half of Floridians not aware of local water restrictions
Water restrictions can be set by cities, counties and the state’s water management districts
GAINESVILLE – Half of Florida residents don’t know about their local water restrictions, but those who are aware can be persuaded to abide by them, new University of Florida research shows.
Water restrictions can be set by cities, counties and the state’s water management districts.
But if homeowners don’t know the local or regional rules, it’s logical that they cannot develop favorable perceptions about these policies. Residential buy-in is the key to less irrigation, said Laura Warner, a UF/IFAS associate professor of agricultural education and communications.
“I think the most important finding is that we can now understand who intends to comply with irrigation restrictions in the future,” said Warner, lead author of the paper.
There are lots of reasons half the public doesn’t know about local water restrictions, Warner said.
“A simple explanation would be that there are either not enough educational messages, and/or the messages that do exist are not reaching the people they need to reach,” she said. “But another element is potentially that we have so many new residents to Florida.”
Even if people are aware of the restrictions but don’t fully understand them, that’s also a problem.
“Perceived complexity is the biggest barrier to compliance among people who are aware of these policies,” Warner said.