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Monday, Mar 30, 2015

Water conservation efforts net county $48,400


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BROOKSVILLE Hernando County is in line for a share of grant money for its water conservation program.

The Withlacoochee Regional Water Supply Authority's board of directors has awarded about $130,000 in matching grants to three member local governments it represents.

Hernando County will receive $48,400 for its water conservation program, which authority members said has served as a model for the region since 2001.

Citrus County receives $40,250 and Marion County $38,600, also for each county's water conservation program.

Diane Salz, the authority's governmental and legislative affairs consultant, said Hernando County was the first in the region to enact a water conservation program and praised Alys Brockway, the county's water conservation coordinator for her efforts in leading the way.

"Alice was a trailblazer and she really learned how to best administer the water conservation program," Salz said. "She's taken full advantage of all the available resources."

Specifically, the authority awarded the grant because of Hernando County's education and outreach efforts on water conservation, including the Florida Friendly Landscaping Program and toilet rebate program.

The authority also cited the county's checks on irrigation systems, rain sensors, school programs and media releases.

"Competing grant applications once again focus on supporting water conservation activities, and these three projects have proven effective.programs," Authority Chairman Dennis Damato said in a press release.

Since 1999, the Authority has provided assistance to local governments for water supply projects located within its jurisdiction. The projects must relate to water conservation and be approved by the local government's elected body.

Each year, the grant application period opens on May 1st and closes on the last working day of June.

Authority Executive Director Richard Owen said "our efforts in recent years have focused on achieving the Southwest Florida Water Management District's per capita requirement of 150 gallons per capita per day and the conservation requirements of the St. Johns River Water Management District."

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