Center Pivots: Iron Dinosaurs of Ogallala Aquifer

by Martin Soffran, USDA Soil Conservation Service, Ogallala Water Management Office, Burlington, CO, USA,
W. Wayne Glover, USDA Soil Conservation Service, Ogallala Water Management Office, Burlington, CO, USA,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Development and Management Aspects of Irrigation and Drainage Systems

Abstract: In mid-1983, USDA's Soil Conservation Service (SCS) staff in Colorado began a 5-year project aimed at reducing the amount of water the state extracts from the Ogallala aquifer. During the first 2 years of the project, SCS analyzed the efficiency of center-pivot systems, the dominant irrigation practice in the aquifer region. Of the 120 systems evaluated, 46 percent met or exceeded the state standard for system efficiency and another 26 percent were within 10 percent of that standard. For only 28 percent of the systems could repair have been justified financially. SCS irrigation specialists therefore predict that the most practical water management practices for the future in this region are irrigation scheduling programs and the use of crops that demand less water.

Subject Headings: Aquifers | Water conservation | Iron compounds | Water resources | Irrigation systems | Water demand | Resource management | Soil water | North America | United States | South Carolina | Colorado

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