Assessing Economic Changes Due to an Expanding Dairy Industry in the Texas High Plains
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© 2019 American Water Resources Association The dairy industry in the Texas High Plains has experienced rapid expansion in the past two decades. This study assesses the impact of the increased presence of dairies on overall water use, crop composition, and the local economy. The increase in water use related to the dairy industry from 2000 to 2015 was primarily due to an increase in demand for drinking by the cows (direct water) as well as an increased demand for silage (indirect water). However, a comparative analysis (dairy presence vs. no dairy presence) from a single year indicates minimal impacts on total water use due to dairies. During the same time period, the number, size, and employment of related local business establishments have increased economic activity in rural areas. Editor's note: This paper is part of the featured series on Optimizing Ogallala Aquifer Water Use to Sustain Food Systems. See the February 2019 issue for the introduction and background to the series.
author list (cited authors)
Guerrero, B., Owens, R., Amosson, S., Sukcharoen, K., Richeson, J., & Almas, L.