Agricultural Water Allocation, Land Use, and Policy

by Earl O. Heady, Distinguished Prof.; Economics and Dir. of Ctr. for Agri. and Rural Development, Ctr. for Agri. and Rural Development, Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA,
Howard C. Madsen, Staff Economist; Ctr. for Agri. and Rural Development, Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA,
Kenneth J. Nicol, Staff Economist; Ctr. for Agri. and Rural Development, Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA,
Stanley H. Hargrove, Staff Economist; Ctr. for Agri. and Rural Development, Iowa State Uni., Ames IA,


Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1973, Vol. 99, Issue 10, Pg. 1795-1812


Document Type: Journal Paper

Abstract: Mathematical programming models were used to determine optimal water and land allocation and agricultural water needs in the year 2000. The models encompassed the whole of the nation's agriculture but included restraints and detail for 223 producing areas and 51 water regions. With elimination of farm programs withholding land from production, the nation could free water from agriculture for other uses in 2000. Total agricultural water use could be less than in 1964. Pricing policies could be an important means to lessen water demand in western states. These possibilities exist as land and technology is substituted for water. Without farm programs and with a population of 300,000,000 in the year 2000, irrigated acreage could decline by 13% over 1964. The problem facing the nation is not a water shortage for agriculture but an improved allocation of this resource.

Subject Headings: Land use | Irrigation water | Water use | Water policy | Hydrologic models | Water shortage | Agriculture | Mathematical models | Mathematics | Computer programming | North America | Western states | United States

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