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The Ogallala Aquifer

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    The Ogallala Aquifer is one of the largest aquifer systems in the universe in footings of country covered ( 174. 000 square stat mis ) . underlying parts of eight provinces of the Great Plains: Texas. New Mexico. Colorado. Oklahoma. Kansas. Nebraska. Wyoming. and South Dakota ( Nativ. 1 ) . Recharge into the Ogallala Aquifer can take topographic point through diffuse infiltration straight into Ogallala rock outcrops on the western and northern boundaries. Another beginning of recharge is through the playa lakes and river bottoms.

    Nativ ( 1988 ) reported that surveies have shown that infiltration through river bottoms is undistinguished because of the poorly developed drainage system in the Southern High Plains ( Nativ. 6 ) . She besides reported that infiltration surveies have shown that recharge through playa lakes is the more likely method of recharge instead than the diffuse method. She reported recharge rates of 0. 11 to 1. 6 inches per twelvemonth ( Nativ. 6 ) . The Ogallala Aquifer will probably see the diminution in its H2O degree in the hereafter.

    From the practical position. in some parts the Ogallala Aquifer is considered already as an exhaustible aquifer due to diminishing H2O reloading rates. The general consensus among experts is that as the sum of H2O in the Ogallala Aquifer decreases. the harvest production in its country will diminish. Water usage of the Ogallala Aquifer varies across the part due to H2O handiness. measured by concentrated thickness. and by cost of pumping. measured by deepness to H2O or pumping lift ( Johnson et al. 2004 ) .

    Depth to H2O is smallest in the cardinal parts with deepnesss less than 50 pess and greatest in the northern and southern parts with deepnesss over 300 pess ( Nativ. 2 ) . Hardin and Lacewell ( 1980 ) . in a survey of irrigation pumping from the Ogallala Aquifer. found that both manufacturers and society benefit from restricting one-year backdown of groundwater from an exhaustible aquifer. The aims of the survey were to analyze the effects of the economic life of the H2O supply of the Ogallala Aquifer and calculate breakeven price reduction rates for limitless H2O usage and for assorted degrees of limited one-year rates of H2O backdown for the aquifer.

    The consequences showed that. with sprinkler irrigation. the figure of old ages that the initial figure of estates can go on to be irrigated is 38 old ages for limitless H2O usage. 44 old ages for the restriction of a 4-foot diminution. 38 old ages for the restriction of a 3-foot diminution. and 86 old ages for the restriction of a 2-foot diminution ( Hardin and Lacewell. 40 ) . The writers cited other issues that must be addressed such as developing the establishments. both regulative and economic. to supply inducements for single irrigators to modify one-year backdown rates with the aim of maximising the value of the resource ( Hardin and Lacewell. 43 ) .

    Renshaw ( 1963 ) evaluated the inquiry of managed groundwater militias in the Southern High Plains. The survey considered two instances with different consequences. The first instance of optimal excavation where aquifer recharge is negligible comparative to backdowns used informations from the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District for the instance survey. Renshaw recommended that nonprice rationing be used which can include understandings among irrigators to restrict backdown. Renshaw found that with 1960s engineering and current backdown rates. the economic life of the aquifer was 30 old ages ( Renshaw. 289 ) .

    By cut downing backdown by 15 % . irrigators would recognize a return on bygone income of 7. 5 % and by cut downing backdowns by 50 % . the return would be 4 % ( Renshaw. 289 ) . Lansford et Al. ( 1983 ) evaluated the on-farm economic impacts of the worsening Ogallala Aquifer in New Mexico. The findings indicated that the Southern High Plains of New Mexico. bounded in the North by the Canadian River. will transition from irrigated to dryland cropping forms between the old ages 2000 and 2020 for a bulk of the cropland estates ( Lansford et Al. 33 ) .

    They found no important difference in H2O usage between voluntary and compulsory irrigation H2O preservation steps. Warren et Al. ( 1982 ) studied the economic impacts of the worsening Ogallala Aquifer in western Oklahoma. The survey country was in the Central Formation of the Ogallala Aquifer similar to the Texas Northern High Plains. The survey found that irrigation land area would increase in the near- and mid-term and that the hereafter of irrigated agribusiness in the survey part was positive ( Warren et al. 75 ) . This reinforces the findings of the Lansford et Al.

    ( 1983 ) survey in New Mexico that distinguished the potency for future irrigation between the countries north and south to the Canadian River. WORKS CITED Hardin D. C. and Lacewell R. D. “Temporal Implications of Limitations on Annual Irrigation Water Pumped from an Exhaustible Aquifer. ” Western Journal of Agricultural Economics. July. 37-44. 1980 Johnson J. W. et Al. Evaluation of Water Conservation Policy Alternatives for the Southern High Plains of Texas. Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. Texas Tech University. 2004 Retrieved from & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //ageconsearch. umn. edu/bitstream/34788/1/sp04jo02. pdf & gt ; . June 15. 2009

    Renshaw E. F. “The Management of Ground Water Resources. ” Journal of Farm Economics. 45:285-296. 1963 Nativ R. Hydrogeology and Hydrochemistry of the Ogallala Aquifer. Southern High Plains. Texas Panhandle and Eastern New Mexico. Report of Investigations No. 177. Bureau of Economic Geology. Austin TX. 1988 Lansford R. R. et Al. “The On-Farm Economic Impacts of the Declining Ogallala Aquifer for the New Mexico High Plains. ” The Journal of American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisals. 47:31-36. 1983 Warren J. et Al. “Economics of Declining Water Supplies in the Ogallala Aquifer. ” Groundwater. 20:73-79. 1982

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