The Effect of Water Use and Water Availability on Net Revenues and Optimal Cropping Patterns on the Texas High Plains

Agricultural production in the High Plains region of Texas is a part of the foundation of the region’s economy. Part of the reason for this is the availability of groundwater for irrigation. Currently, the region relies on the Ogallala Aquifer for irrigation water; however, the High Plains is also home to a second aquifer, the Dockum Aquifer, which could be a viable resource for agricultural use. While the Dockum could partially replace the Ogallala, but differences in depth and pumping cost mean that it is not a perfect subsitute. The purpose of this paper is to determine how the use of water resources and crop production in the area would change if a new water resource was introduced. For each of the forty-one counties in the study area, a representative farm was established that reflects the attributes of the county including land, hydrologic, and crop specific characteristics. To estimate the optimal use of groundwater in the region and identify how the inclusion of the Dockum Aquifer affects regional production and groundwater use, a non-linear programing model was created with the objective to maximize net revenues for each county. Using the model to establish a baseline in which only Ogallala water is used, the effect of the using the Dockum Aquifer was estimated by restricting the amount of water available in the Ogallala, while making the Dockum available for use.


Issue Date:
2011
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/98802
Total Pages:
13




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-22

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