New cistern aids in water conservation

MAITLAND, Fla., April 14, 2016 — With a mission to ensure sustainable use of Florida’s water, the St. Johns River Water Management District recently revealed plans to install a cistern to aid landscape irrigation. Plans for the new cistern coincide with Water Conservation Month, an annual observance each April to celebrate conservation and increase awareness about the need to reduce water use.

“We are passionate about promoting water conservation locally and leading by example,” said St. Johns River Water Management District Executive Director Dr. Ann Shortelle. “Using a cistern is an easy way for homeowners and businesses to conserve water, and it greatly compliments other water conservation efforts, like installing water-efficient appliances.”

Reclaimed water is currently used for landscape irrigation at the district’s headquarters, located in Palatka, Fla. To avoid overwatering, the district uses rain sensors to prevent watering during rainfall. Installation of the cistern will supplement reclaimed water as well as help reduce the amount of reclaimed water used.

Once installed, the cistern will collect rain runoff from six downspouts. Captured water will be used to reduce dependency on reclaimed water for irrigation.

Modern-day rainwater cisterns apply the same technology utilized by Greek and Roman civilizations long ago, by collecting and storing rain for irrigation or household use.

April has been formally recognized as Water Conservation Month in Florida for the past 18 years, as April is typically a dry month when water demands are higher due to springtime planting.

For more information about Water Conservation Month and tips on how to reduce water use visit