impact irrigation

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Information about impact irrigation

Published on August 23, 2007

Author: Brainy007


Current Water Resources Issuesin Georgia:Their Potential Impact on Irrigation:  Current Water Resources Issues in Georgia: Their Potential Impact on Irrigation by D. Thomas, K. Harrison, J. Hook, G. Hoogenboom, andamp; D. Stooksbury University of Georgia Tri-State Water Issue between Alabama, Georgia, Florida:  Tri-State Water Issue between Alabama, Georgia, Florida Atlanta wanted more water, 1990 Alabama and Florida objected to reallocation by CoE and filed suit States agreed to fund studies in ACT and ACF basins to determine and project water use, compacts were signed Allocation formulas are to be completed, including period to receive public opinion, by August of 2000 (or the lawsuit goes back to court) – 3rd extension of time Tri-State Water Issue between Alabama, Georgia, Florida (The Flint):  Tri-State Water Issue between Alabama, Georgia, Florida (The Flint) By the end of 1999 there were about 5400 permitted irrigation withdrawals in the Flint Basin (about 80% of total water use) As of 11/31/99 there were an additional 2700 permit applications at EPD awaiting action (about 1/2 of these are estimated to have already been installed) No 'letters of concurrence' are currently being issued (drought effect) The Flint River:  Ground water is directly connected to river How much water flows in each direction? Who knows! Policies developed due to this issue are affecting the entire state The Flint River Salt Water Intrusion Issue:  Salt Water Intrusion Issue Hilton Head City of Savannah Intl. Paper Co. Kemira Fort Stewart Interstate Paper Rayonier Georgia-Pacific Hercules City of Brunswick Durango Paper Fernandina Beach Saltwater Intrusion Problem - Atlantic Coastal Plain, 24 county area in Georgia and S.C. Concerns about saltwater intrusion from extensive municipal, industrial, andamp; agricultural ground water use Savannah/Hilton Head areas were identified as needing reductions in ground water use Interim strategy sets guidelines to reduce ground water withdrawals by the year 2005 Studies were started to improve understanding of the problem Saltwater Intrusion Issue:  Saltwater Intrusion Issue What do Georgia and South Carolina want? 'To develop a final strategy (through sound science and with input from stakeholder groups) that improves water use efficiency for all users, develops alternative resources and reduces the rate of saltwater intrusion' - Will affect all major water users! *Agriculture Numbers Estimated by EPD 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 Million Gallons Per Day Rayonier Georgia-Pacific Durango Paper Intl. Paper Savannah Main Interstate Hercules All Other Non-Ag Agriculture* Agricultural Water Use:How Much? :  Agricultural Water Use: How Much? Permit system for agricultural withdrawals was implemented in late 1980’s Agriculture was exempted from reporting We currently have over 20,000 permitted agricultural water withdrawals in the state All the water issues require good data on agricultural water use How many irrigated agricultural acres do we have?:  How many irrigated agricultural acres do we have? Census, ~750,000 ac. UGA, Extension, ~1.4 mil. ac. EPD, Permits, ~ 1.9 mil. ac. Which one is correct? How important is it to know the correct number? The Drought::  The Drought: Deviations from normal (in inches) 1/1/2000 to 6/3/2000 The Drought::  The Drought: Add 1999 deviations from normal (in inches) 1/1/1999 to 12/31/1999 (in all, deficits are in the range of 40+ inches over three years. Estimated to need 11+ inches to end the drought) TheDrought::  The Drought: * Water levels in rivers and aquifers are at or approaching record lows Are low flows and low water level conditions directly associated with agricultural withdrawals? Lower Flint River Drought Protection Act::  Lower Flint River Drought Protection Act: Funded $10 million to allow 'buy-back' of ground water permits in designated dry years Creates new rules for well-drillers, must have a Letter of Concurrence in hand before drilling Proposed rules for a 'lottery system' or other approaches for farmer’s to bid for funds (to not pump) are out for public input Allocated funds are for only the initial period, would require recurring funds Agricultural Water Use Programs::  Agricultural Water Use Programs: Ag. Water PUMPING (Agricultural Water: Potential Use and Management Program IN Georgia) Monitoring and modeling to estimate agricultural water use for the entire state Ag. Water Pumping:  Ag. Water Pumping Representative sample of irrigation withdrawals (~2%) Volunteers for monitoring (protect those willing to participate) Reporting of water use will be by county, region, basin, … 5 year project (in second year), just beginning on modeling New component – HOBO loggers Related Agricultural Water Use Programs::  Related Agricultural Water Use Programs: Need to better understand water use around the Flint River Automated monitoring in Subarea 4 Mapping of agricultural irrigated area (GIS-based) Animal water use Economic impacts Agricultural Water Use Programs::  Agricultural Water Use Programs: Water Conservation Develop new crops which use less water or use 'dirty' or salty water (college) Irrigation scheduling Improving old irrigation systems: Example: Adding an end gun shutoff on the ~2,000 older center pivot irrigation systems in Georgia which need one could save over 2 billion gal. of water/year Irrigation audit projects (to be sure changes are needed) have started in the Pine Country RCandamp;D (central and southeast Georgia) and are expected in the Golden Triangle RCandamp;D (southwest Georgia) How Are These Issues Affecting Agriculture and Irrigation?::  How Are These Issues Affecting Agriculture and Irrigation?: Water use restrictions (and suggested reductions) in urban areas What about agriculture? Potential changes in rules for agricultural water use permits (political climate, need for more information) Need to create incentive programs for addressing conservation practices on older systems More emphasis on 'water saving' practices – such as no-till and reducing off-site applications Farm community is more aware of public opinion and how it affects their future What else is being done to Conserve Water in Agriculture?:  What else is being done to Conserve Water in Agriculture? Improving water use efficiency Making sure as much water as possible is reaching the roots of plants Education Programs: Promoting use of efficient irrigation systems Making sure the public understands that irrigators in Georgia are using many of the most efficient systems available Getting all stakeholders involved in decisions and changes for the future Acknowledgements::  Acknowledgements: Sources or Information: University of Georgia, US and Georgia State Geologic Surveys, GA Dept. of Natural Resources, and USDA, Agricultural Research Service USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service

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