Water - save it, conserve it

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Sarah Martinez
  • 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
Water is the source of all life, which is why it must be conserved and not abused.

Currently Hurlburt Field is using close to one million gallons of water a day. This number is over the base's daily water limit of 800,000 gallons but still under the monthly limit of 31,000,000 gallons.

"We have to take action now," said Christopher Hood, Hurlburt Field energy manager. "If we do not start conserving our water intake we will be forced to move into stage two, or yellow flag conditions."

The base is currently in stage one of a three-stage Water Conservation policy.

Stage one, or green flag, allows personnel in base housing and facilities to water during designated days and times for no more than 30 minutes. If new sod is planted, it can be watered for the first 30 days.

Stage two, or yellow flag, still allows watering on specific days and times. However, new sod can only be watered every other day, during the first 30 days. Additional restrictions limit the use of car washes on base to washing personally owned vehicles only and all seeding is prohibited.

Stage three, or red flag, is the last and most restrictive condition. In this stage outdoor water use, laying new sod and all car washes are prohibited. During red flag, the base is considered to be in a water crisis.

"We want to avoid yellow and red flag," Mr. Hood said. "Base personnel need to be mindful of how much water they use and if they can reduce it."

With current weather conditions being as dry as they are, now is the time to save precious water.

In May, rainfall was one half of the historical monthly average falling from 3.2 inches to 1.62 inches. June normally has 5.6 inches of rainfall, but with base weather forecasting only a single day with 30 percent chance of rain for the next 10 days, this month's rainfall may likely fall below average as well.

There are many ways to reduce the amount of water used in your day-to-day activities. Below are just a few ideas:
  • Consider and compare water use when purchasing things like ice makers, dishwashers, coolers and cleaning equipment.
  • Switch to low-flow shower heads for greater efficiency and performance.
  • Shut off water to unused areas of your facility or home to eliminate waste from leaks or unmonitored use.
  • Track the weather and water use in the landscape. Water use should decrease during rainy periods.
  • Scrape dishes rather than rinse them before washing
  • Make sure landscape irrigation system is operating properly by regularly inspecting for leaks or broken sprinkler heads and adjusting pressures to the equipment specifications.
  • When you have ice left in your cup from a take-out restaurant, don't throw it in the trash. Pour it on a plant.
"If we all do our part to help conserve our water, we will not have to take drastic measures such as going into stage two," Mr. Hood said. "We can all just enjoy our summer without restrictions."

In addition to conserving water, Mr. Hood asks the base populace to also be mindful of energy use. Just like with water, if everyone does little things like turning off lights, it can make a big difference.

For more information on ways your unit can save energy, contact the 1st Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron at 850-884-6683 or Mr. Hood at 850-884-1939.