Feasibility of Water Management Strategies for the Declining Ogallala Aquifer Conference Paper uri icon


  • The Ogallala aquifer level in the intensively irrigated northern region of Texas continues to decline with this portion of the aquifer having no appreciable rate of recharge. New Texas water planning requirements warranted a feasibility analysis of water management strategies that could be potentially implemented over the next 60 year horizon to reduce the rate of aquifer pumpage for irrigation water use. The assessment of the strategies deal with ET network scheduling, changes in crop variety, irrigation equipment improvements, changes in crop type, implementation of conservation tillage methods, precipitation enhancement, and conversion from irrigated to dryland farming. Results indicate that while water is conserved with implementation of the strategies, several are devastating to the regional economy. Assuming that water savings are the principle objective, the strategies of changing crop variety and the use of conservation tillage should be dropped from consideration. The two strategies of changing crop type and conversion of irrigated to dryland production generate the largest water savings, but they negatively impact the regional economy. The strategies of precipitation enhancement and irrigation scheduling provide both a substantial water savings and have a positive impact on the regional economy, but do not meet the extent of the water savings desired over the 60 year horizon. Thus, tough choices will ultimately have to be made by water planners and groundwater district managers to attain a balance of allocation versus demand. Copyright ASCE 2005.

name of conference

  • Impacts of Global Climate Change

published proceedings

  • Impacts of Global Climate Change

author list (cited authors)

  • Marek, T., Amosson, S., Almas, L., Bretz, F., Guerrero, B., Gaskins, D., & Jones, D.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Marek, Thomas||Amosson, Stephen||Almas, Lal||Bretz, Fran||Guerrero, Bridget||Gaskins, Dustin||Jones, DeDe

publication date

  • January 2005