Trends in Irrigation Water Use—Texas Rice Belt

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by Richard F. Bettge, USDA, Soil Conservation Service, Victoria, TX, USA,
Garry N. McCauley, USDA, Soil Conservation Service, Victoria, TX, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

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

Abstract: In the Rice Belt along the Texas Gulf Coast, where stress on water resources is increasing, federal, state, and local specialists are conducting a 5-year examination of irrigation. Measured in this study of conventional contour-levee systems are irrigation inflow, rainfall, runoff, and crop yield. The first 3 years of data, from 24 fields on various soils throughout the Rice Belt, show the following trends: (1) less irrigation water is applied where ground water is used than where surface water is used, (2) very little rainfall is used for crop growth, (3) land forming (leveling) is needed in many areas to increase efficiency in water use, and (4) crop yields were not the highest where the most irrigation water was applied.

Subject Headings: Crops | Water resources | Irrigation water | Water conservation | Rain water | Groundwater | Irrigation systems | North America | Texas | United States

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