A Water Management Model for Botanic Gardens and Arboreta

Lynch, Harry
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University of Delaware
Many botanic gardens and arboreta across the united states currently face significant operational obstacles due to water related problems. However, all public horticultural facilities in this country potentially face water operational and water supply related problems in the near future. These problems are caused by combined effects of diminishing sources of water supply, increased demands for water from all segments of society, increased development costs, capital shortages, government fiscal restraint, pollution, periodic weather induced shortages, growing public concern for the environment, stress on system equipment, and water quality degradation. Due to these problems, the cost of providing and using water in public gardens will increase, whether directly, through user fee increases, or indirectly, due to increasing costs of complying with changing government regulations. Because of increasing costs the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. is investigating new sources for their irrigation water supply. Currently, their supply comes from District of Columbia's municipal water system, which significantly, increased service rates to them. Filoli Gardens, near San Francisco, California has recently completed an extensive domestic and irrigation water system expansion and upgrade. This undertaking was initiated to deal with rising costs, operational inefficiency, and to offset the effects of continuing regional water shortages. Many gardens across the country are becoming aware of their own water problems and are looking for ways to address them. The development of this water management model is in response to the obvious need to conserve and efficiently utilize water. The model is organized into three levels: water management planning process, interim water management action programs, and system specific water management action programs. The first level identifies steps and processes an institution must take to develop, implement, and evaluate a water conservation management program. Levels two and three identify interim management measures, as well as short and long term water system specific conservation measures. When followed, the model will result in an achievable conservation management plan. Additionally, the model provides examples of proven efficient management techniques and methods, as well as innovative new approaches to solving many current water problems.
Water , Water management , Irrigation , Facilities management , Conservation