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Drip Irrigation Can Reduce California’s Water Application by 2.4x106 ac-ft. per Year Without Yield Reduction

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  IRR10-8339.(doi:10.13031/2013.35881)
Authors:   Claude J Phene
Keywords:   Population growth, agricultural sustainability, water management, irrigation, microirrigation, subsurface drip irrigation, low pressure irrigation, water use efficiency, irrigation scheduling, soil-water balance

The California Department of Water Resources has predicted that California's population, now 38 x 706, may exceed 48 x 106 by 2030. In 2008, California irrigated agriculture generated a gross income of $39 x 109 by irrigating about 9.6 x 106 ac of land with 34.2 x 106 ac-ft of water (average 3.56 ac-ft/ac). About 50% of the irrigated agriculture still relies on furrow and flood irrigation and, based on research and demonstration, this acreage could be converted to drip and subsurface drip irrigation (DI and SDI) with a yearly reduction in applied water of 0.5 ac-ft/ac.

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