USGS and EPA map and monitor water use in the United States. Major uses of water include thermoelectric power generation, industrial water abstraction (e.g. steel production), agricultural and landscape irrigation, aquaculture, mining, livestock and public water supplies.
Every American household uses about 320 gallons of water every day, about 30 percent of which is used outdoors. Over 50% of outdoor water is used to water lawns and gardens. Nationally, landscape irrigation is estimated to account for nearly one-third of all residential water use, totaling nearly 9 billion gallons per day.
Droughts are increasing across the country, and climate change is increasing the pressure on water resources. To create a more sustainable water future, cities and states are working together to reduce demand by encouraging water conservation and improving water efficiency. Gardeners can take the lead by simulating water conservation measures.
Home gardeners have many options to help irrigate their food, flowers and lawns to reduce water usage and water waste. Collecting water in a rain barrel and reusing it is a good option. Columbia Water and Richland County Stormwater are selling 50-gallon rain barrels. Order online by March 20, pick up March 26 at Southeastern Park. www.rainwatersolutions.com/products/columbia-en
For in-ground or raised bed gardens, the Dramam soaker hose directs water to the roots of the plants and reduces water loss through evaporation.
For young trees and shrubs, a 5-foot or 10-foot size Dramam soaking ring directs water to the roots for a gentle soaking action, minus the “geyser” effect. The ring uses 90% less water than conventional hoses.
For watering fragile plants, seedlings or cuttings, Dramam’s solid brass seedling nozzle sprays half a gallon of water every minute in a cone-shaped mist.
Dramm’s 16″, 30″ and 36″ Touch ‘N Flow Rain Sticks save water while watering shrubs, flowers and vegetables. The wand is equipped with a lever activated valve. Squeeze the lever to water, release the lever to stop the water flow. Wands are useful in water-restricted areas.
Dramm’s adjustable hose nozzles are similar to electric washing machines used to clean sidewalks, patios, decks, driveways and gutters. Twist the brass barrel to adjust the flow and pattern from a fine cone spray to a powerful stream of water.
Dramm’s Fan Nozzle is a durable heavy metal tool designed to provide a gentle shower for flower and container gardens. The lightweight hose fitting features an ergonomically insulated handle for easy watering.
The South Carolina Water Resources Conference (SCWRC) is a comprehensive forum for dialogue on water policy, research projects, and water management to prepare for and respond to the growing challenges of providing water to sustain and grow the South Carolina economy , while protecting our natural resources. The next meeting will be on October 21-22. Visit SCWaterConference.org.