Report presents economic approach to planning and management of groundwater resources in the Texas Panhandle
A team of academic researchers, supported by the USDA Agricultural Research Service Initiative – Ogallala Aquifer Program (FY2009-2010), multi-year allocation and water use restriction as a means of balance irrigation water demands with the need to mitigate aquifer decline.
The researchers studied four counties over a 60-year planning horizon, looking a 5-year allocation combined with four different levels of water use restriction: no restriction, 15% reduction, 30% reduction, and 45% reduction.
There results show that while water use restrictions did increase saturated thickness, they also correlated with a decrease in net present value of the county’s cultivated land. As a result, they recommend that any legislative or regulatory action taken to mitigate the aquifer decline in the region consider the socio-economic impacts. They also suggest further study on the impact of allowing carry-over of unused water.
Visit the Texas Water Journal and download the article
Written by Marta Weismann