High Plains Irrigation and Texas Water Plan

by Dan M. Wells, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg. and Dir.; Texas Tech. Univ. Water Resources Center, Lubbock, TX,

Serial Information: Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, 1971, Vol. 97, Issue 1, Pg. 123-130

Document Type: Journal Paper


The economy of the High Plains of West Texas is based on irrigated agriculture. Because all irrigation water is derived from storage in the Ogallala aquifer, maximum irrigation development is expected to occur around 1980. Irrigation has been found to have a total value of about $35.00 per acre-ft to farmers in the area, and a total value to all sectors of the economy in the area of about $100.00 per acre-ft. Based on these values, and on the assumption that nonfarming sectors of the economy would be willing to pay their proportionate shares of the cost of importation of water as envisioned by the Texas Water Plan, the writer concludes that the importation of water to the area to sustain the present high level of economy is economically feasible.

Subject Headings: Irrigation | Irrigation water | Water storage | Aquifers | Agriculture | Economic factors | Texas | United States

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