Emitters used in drip irrigation systems usually operate with a flow of 1 gallon per hour. They can be adjusted to a half gallon per hour for more efficiency. At this rate, the system will use 12 to 24 gallons of water per day, per emitter, if the system is not turned off at any point during the day. To put this into perspective, a half gallon of water will water 1 inch into the soil in a 1 square foot area. Thus, each emitter provides 1 to 2 inches of water per square foot per hour.
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Carla Locke is based in Oberlin, Ohio, and has been writing since 1998. Her writing career began in technical writing and has expanded into Web content. Her education includes a Bachelor of Science in biology and an Associate of Applied Business in e-business technology.