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Overview of Ogallala Aquifer Program

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  5th National Decennial Irrigation Conference Proceedings, 5-8 December 2010, Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, Arizona USA  IRR10-10034.(doi:10.13031/2013.35812)
Authors:   R Nolan Clark, David K Brauer
Keywords:   Irrigation technology, irrigation scheduling, water conservation, economic impacts, Ogallala Aquifer

Irrigation increased markedly on the southern High Plains during the second half of the 20th century, drawing water primarily from the Ogallala Aquifer. During this time, irrigation sustained regional farm incomes and rural economies. Withdrawals from the aquifer, however, have exceeded recharge, resulting in declining water availability. In order to sustain future agricultural activities, new water conservation technologies and practices are needed. To pursue such an objective, funding was secured in 2003 for the Ogallala Aquifer Program (OAP), a research and education consortium including ARS-USDA (Lubbock and Bushland TX), Kansas State University, Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Service, Texas Tech University and West Texas A&M University. Research successes to date include: 1) economic assessment of various water conservation strategies; 2) improved management strategies for subsurface drip and deficit irrigation; 3) improved irrigation scheduling techniques; 4) improved practices for dryland farming; and 5) technologies for water conservation in confined animal feeding operations and animal processing plants.

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