Economic adjustments to groundwater depletion in the High Plains: Do water-saving irrigation systems save water?

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Abstract

A common policy prescription for conserving irrigation water is to promote more efficient or "water-saving" irrigation technologies. We develop a risk-programing model to quantify the effect of irrigation efficiency on irrigation water use in the High Plains, taking account of irrigation timing and well capacity limits. We find that optimal irrigation does not respond monotonically to changes in efficiency, although intermediate and high-efficiency systems both result in less water use than an inefficient flood system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-159
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Agricultural Economics
Volume87
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful to two anonymous reviewers for valuable comments. Funding for this research was provided by USDA-CSREES Special Grant IT 2002-06188.

Keywords

  • High Plains
  • Irrigation efficiency
  • Irrigation timing
  • Ogallala aquifer
  • Water conservation

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