Freshwater used at homes for activities like drinking, showering, flushing toilets, and laundry originates from the same sources we use for irrigating agriculture, whether it’s pumped from one of Louisiana’s eleven aquifers or any of our rivers, lakes, or bayous.
While water volumes attributed to public consumption are a drop in the bucket compared to volumes used by agriculture, utilizing good water conservation principles at home can resonate beyond the property line.
Enacting conservative behaviors in public settings such as work or school can influence others to be less wasteful as well. As communities begin to shift societal norms toward a more sustainable future, conservation achieved through efficient practices can make a difference!
Recommendations for home water conservation include:
Statistics used here and more information about these recommendations can be found at the EPA WaterSense website.
Assuming there are 30 days in the month, one car is washed twice monthly with the hose running for 15 minutes, and no landscape irrigation system,
Are you interested in checking your toilets for leaks or trying to take a shorter shower (<5 min) to do your part? LSU AgCenter currently has blue dye tablets and shower timers available for free. You can request these products from your local extension agent for near-future delivery or pick up in-person at the following two locations:
The Drought Irrigation Response Tool (DIRT) is an integrative platform that assists farmers in making irrigation scheduling decisions during the crop season. This tool is created to not only assist farmers with irrigation in drought years, but every year.
Upon signing in, you will set up a field (or single irrigation set) using a map and some basic inputs such as crop type and planting date. This tool will pull daily weather data and calculate an ETO value for your field location. Using ETO and rainfall, the tool will estimate the soil moisture in the field and alert you when an irrigation event is needed. You will record an irrigation value when completing an irrigation set, which will also factor into the soil moisture estimate.
Louisiana farmers that apply irrigation by gravity systems (furrow irrigation) and grow corn, cotton, soybean, grain sorghum, or sugarcane can use this tool immediately.
Louisiana farmers who use other irrigation systems, such as center pivots, can use the tool but it has not been validated for accuracy using research data.
A custom feature for adjusting crop coefficients to irrigate any crop type will be added later.
This project, titled “Decision Support, Education, And Outreach for Managing Agricultural Drought,” was funded by USDA NIFA Rapid Response Program (Award# 2022-68016-38648).
Through this opportunity, we asked an advisory panel of producers, consultants, industry professionals, and agricultural stakeholders to review the concept and provide input.
We want to know what you think! Use this link to provide feedback.
Are you experiencing issues or need assistance? We have someone on staff to assist you!
Please contact: April Divine
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Agriculture and Food Research Initiative
Competitive Grant No. 2022-68016-38648
Drought continues to impact agriculture in the normally humid Midsouth and Gulf South. Irrigation will become critical for crop production during drier times.
(09/11/23) The LSU AgCenter’s new web-based Drought Irrigation Response Tool, or DIRT, will benefit farmers during one of the driest seasons on record.