South Atlantic Water Science Center - Georgia
2005 WATER USE
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Irrigation Water Use in Georgia, 2005
Irrigation water use is water used for crops, large nurseries, athletic fields, and golf courses. Estimates of irrigation water use are based on a 2004 irrigation survey conducted by the University of Georgia, Cooperative Extension Service (Kerry Harrison, Cooperative Extension Service, written commun., 2004). County extension agents were asked to provide data on crop acreage, water application rates by crop for each county, and percentages of ground- and surface-water use. Withdrawal data for permitted users were provided by GaEPD. Withdrawals for golf irrigation were estimated using water application rates provided by the University of Georgia (Gil Landy and Clint Waltz, University of Georgia, written commun., 1999). In this report, the 2004 irrigation data were used because 2005 data were not available.
Estimated total irrigation water use in 2004 was about 752 Mgal/d (65 percent from ground water and 35 percent from surface water; table 2), a decrease of about 338 Mgal/d from the 2000 estimate. This 30-percent decrease results from decreased irrigation as compared to irrigation during the drought in 2000. Most irrigation occurs in the Coastal Plain physiographic province, with the largest withdrawal in the southwestern part of the State. Irrigation withdrawal accounts for more than 95 percent of total water use in some counties in southwestern Georgia. Irrigation is the largest category of ground-water use in Georgia, accounting for 41 percent of all groundwater withdrawn.