Irrigation in the Future

by Harvey O. Banks,

Serial Information: Journal of the Urban Planning and Development Division, 1967, Vol. 93, Issue 1, Pg. 41-56

Document Type: Journal Paper


Irrigated agriculture must expand substantially in the next 50 years to meet national food and fiber requirements. For California, irrigated acreage is projected to increase by one-third; in Texas, to more than double; and in the Erie-Niagara Basin, of western New York State, to increase nine times. For these projections, marked improvements in agricultural technology and practices have been postulated, but it has been assumed that water will be available at prices within irrigator's payment capabilities. Future irrigated agriculture probably will not be able to pay the full cost of supplying irrigation water even from large, multipurpose projects. The continuing need for subsidy must be recognized and a uniform nation-wide policy should be adopted by the United States Congress. The subsidy should be borne by the general tax-payer, not by purchasers of municipal and industrial water or of hydroelectric power from individual Federal projects. The price for irrigation water from Federal projects should be high enough to encourage efficient use. Acreage limitation provisions of Federal Reclamation law should be modernized to promote efficient agriculture.

Subject Headings: Irrigation water | Irrigation | Hydro power | Federal government | Pricing | Municipal water | Fabrics | Basins | United States | California | Texas | New York

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