Projected Seasonal Water Consumption And Water Restrictions For Row Crop Irrigation In The A.C.F. Basin
Hook, James E.
Thomas, Daniel L.
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Water consumption in the Flint River Basin depends upon seasonal irrigation of the major row crops — corn, peanut, cotton, and soybean. Knowledge of each crop's water use pattern, water retention by major soil types, and probable weather patterns is essential for comprehensive water management in the basin. Crop model prediction of yield and water use under weather patterns of the past 58 years showed that irrigation water withdrawals can exceed 1200 million gal/day during peak use periods in drought years. If emergency irrigation restrictions that eliminated irrigation for 30- to 60-day periods were imposed to curtail irrigation water consumption, water savings could amount to 6 to 60 billion gallons annually in the Flint River Basin. However, in-season curtailment of irrigation for 30- to 60-days would cause direct economic losses to growers of $4 to $148 million, depending on timing and duration of restrictions. Alternative water management strategies should be developed for reducing irrigation demands in drought years.
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