Groundwater Usage for Agriculture Intexas Research Paper

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The desalination of brackish groundwater is cheaper than the desalination of water from the Gulf of Mexico People and Groundwater.

As of 2002, only 79 groundwater conservation districts had been confirmed Brock. All districts with the exception of those created by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, must be confirmed through an election Brock. The fact that lobbyists and businessmen can impact such confirmation elections makes it clear that election failures have and will continue to occur. A significant example is Brewster County which had only a $10,000 budget in 2002 with no tax rate for the district and only 50 cents per $100 valuation even authorized but not applied Brock.

The largest county in Texas is Brewster, located in Far West Texas. Encompassing nearly 4 million acres, Brewster County includes 25% publicly owned areas Brewster County Underground Water District Management Plan. These areas, Big Bend National Park, Black Gap Wildlife Management Area, Elephant Mountain Wildlife Management Area and part of Big Bend Ranch State National Area, are lacking in groundwater investigations District Plan. Brewster County is a largely remote area and is sparsely populated. Groundwater production areas appear in only a little more than 25%of the county District Plan. Research seems to indicate that there is groundwater availability however these areas vary greatly in quality, depth and questionable yield District Plan. Management of the groundwater availability is central to the plan in Brewster County and it is expected to supply the projected needs for at least 50 years. A combination of issues must be addressed including protection of property rights and may require the reduction of withdrawal from commercial wells but will not include regulation of domestic or livestock wells District Plan.

Public education is one central aspect of successful conservation efforts. However, most new or unconfirmed districts have little or no education programs Brock. The lack of funding is primarily to blame and conversely explains the failure of confirmation. Since the Rule of Capture still applies, the only places where groundwater can be potentially managed is within the groundwater districts Brock.

Districts are required to have recharge plans for the groundwater in addition to the natural recharge occurring from precipitation, runoff or inflows from rivers Brock. Artificial recharge encompasses re injection, catchment structures, brush removal and precipitation enhancement programs Brock. Plans must include suggestions for increasing recharge potential and identifying the total usable volume of groundwater Brock. The correlative-rights approach is practiced in West Texas. This means that equal rights to groundwater comes first regardless of use Brock.

In Presidio County Texas, the District Board of Directors developed a management plan for the use of groundwater resources Presidio County Underground Water Conservation District Management Plan 2003-2013.. Their own statement of principles admitted that achieving their goals can be threatened by "inappropriate management, based in part on the lack of understanding of local conditions Presidio District. The county economy is primarily agricultural with truck farming mainly in the southern part and ranching, hunting, some farming and other nonagricultural industries in the north. It is areas like Presidio County and Brewster County that have agricultural needs and more difficult access to groundwater resources. Management of resources is vital to these rural areas to prevent wholesale exportation and deprivation.

A new source of Texas water is desalination. Desalination is a promising strategy to reclaim fresh water from brackish or salt water. "Desal" technology is relatively straightforward. The most common is reverse osmosis, or RO Infrastructure: Water. Source water is pumped under extremely high pressure through a series of membranes resembling thick rolls of wax paper. The membranes are capable of capturing salt molecules, viruses, bacteria and other microscopic organisms and molecules. Because the water is so highly pressured, RO plants consume large amounts of energy and thus are vulnerable to rising energy costs Infrastructure: Water. The remaining waste is generally highly toxic because of its high salt content. Injection wells usually are used to dispose of the residue deep underground, where it cannot migrate into other water sources Infrastructure: Water. The potential for brackish groundwater as a future resource has received renewed attention in efforts to plan for meeting future water needs. An estimated 2.7 billion acre-feet of brackish groundwater is available in the state, and with RO costs coming down, efforts to access that water have gained importance in recent years Infrastructure: Water. The Legislature appropriated state funding in 2005 to support desalination demonstration project Infrastructure:Water.

Texas continues to rely on agriculture as a part of the economy despite a reduction in farming. Rural communities continue to depend on groundwater resources for drinking, irrigation and the needs of tourism such as for hunting, fishing and other recreational activities. Taking the water from these areas cannot be an option if the urban areas have failed to exercise reasonable conservation measures and evaluating other water supply strategies. In those areas without a groundwater district, the landowners can pump water and then sell it for export to urban areas. Conservation is the only way to ensure adequate and clean water for the future.

As climate continues to change it will have a large impact the agriculture industry, especially in the Southwestern United States. Crops are highly sensitive to temperature thus the change in temperature, which is occurring and that is expected to continue changing, will have a direct effect on the crop yield Mission 2012. Although the average annual temperature difference in climate is on the scale of one or two degrees Celsius the difference in temperature during smaller periods of time compared to historical data is much more drastic Mission 2012. Since there is also an increase in carbon dioxide that plants require for photosynthesis the crops are slightly benefited, however, according to models of temperature change this does not hold true for crops that depend on rainfall only for most which are irrigated Mission 2012. This could present a problem since our water supplies are diminishing at an alarming rate and less water is available for irrigation.

Droughts directly cut down the water supplies going to the people. Not only wetter climates but also drier climates can exacerbate water quality. Increased droughts reduce the flushing rate - the frequency that the storage is refilled with new water Mission 2012. Chemicals, nutrients and microorganisms in the storage can accumulate over a long period of time, and become very concentrated because there is no water for dilution, endangering the ecosystem which cannot cope with such polluted water Mission 2012. At the same time, reduced runoff brings less sediment load to other water storage areas, leaving the water very transparent and allowing microorganisms at depth to grow and deplete oxygen in deeper parts of the water Mission 2012.

The threat of an impending water crisis affects all individuals around the world and must be addressed immediately. It is our responsibility to plan now for the conservation of the current fresh water supply and seek new sources of water for the future. We need to find a sustainable solution that will save the global population from a massive water crisis and can be sustained for many years to come. Moreover, we must first address this crisis at home, in the arid region of western North America. As climate continues to change it will have a large impact the agriculture industry, especially in the Southwestern United States. Crops are highly sensitive to temperature thus the change in temperature, which is occurring and that is expected to continue changing, will have a direct effect on the crop yield Mission 2012. Although the average annual temperature difference in climate is on the scale of one or two degrees Celsius the difference in temperature during smaller periods of time compared to historical data is much more drastic Mission 2012. Since there is also an increase in carbon dioxide that plants require for photosynthesis the crops are slightly benefited, however, according to models of temperature change this does not hold true for crops that depend on rainfall only for most which are irrigated Mission 2012. This could present a problem since our water supplies are diminishing at an alarming rate and less water is available for irrigation.

Economics, labor, and the latest research that is currently being done to educate the agricultural field is shifting and if farmers and ranchers aren't willing to change what they are doing for the betterment of natural resources and the environment, they could have some significant fines and future consequences to pay. With escalating populations in rural and urban settings and a changing climate due to these populations it will pose even heavier demands on natural resources in the future, especially water. Agricultural water management must be incorporated within every conservation-type of program in order to keep the public informed and aware of current water situations

Works Cited

"Brewster County Groundwater District Plan." Web. 1 Oct. 2010. .…[continue]

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