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Posted on April 21st, 2014, by

The majority of Texas policy makers who work at the state and regional groundwater district levels make efforts to develop the appropriate policies that will effectively conserve water in the Ogallala aquifer “while maintaining a healthy regional economy that is currently heavily dependent on irrigated agriculture”¯ (Johnson et al. 537). As more than 95% of the water from the Ogallala aquifer is used for irrigation in the southern High Plains region of Texas, the most effective methods to conserve water in the Ogallala aquifer should be focused on water withdrawals for local agriculture, according to Johnson and colleagues.

Today, the major conservative measures practiced in this region include conservative use of water, reduction of avoidable losses, the wide use of pumping, direct use of artificial recharge, and others. According to Victor A. Gibeault, some improved water management procedures, including “well spacing, a long time practice in the High Plains of Texas and techniques of watering, such as surge irrigation for furrow irrigators along with low-pressure sprinkle head for center pivot systems and other conservation practices”¯, will be useful in conservation of this immense resource in the future (33).

In addition, Texas groundwater law is focused on the rule of capture, but “legislation provides groundwater conservation districts with the authority to implement groundwater use rules to manage aquifers”¯, according to Johnson et al. (537).Ā  In the recent study, the researchers have developed the appropriate optimization models in order to analyze the effects of ground water policies on the Ogallala Aquifer. They have evaluated the major economic impacts on the Texas High Plains. The results of the study show that “a policy that restricts the quantity of groundwater pumped conserved more water over the 50-year time horizon than implementation of a water use fee, but at a higher cost to the local economy.”¯ (Johnson et al. 537).


In conclusion, it is necessary to say that today the issues connected with water scarcity and depletion are facing water policy decision makers in the Texas High Plains, the region that depends heavily on the production agriculture and groundwater irrigation from the Ogallala Aquifer. One of the most serious overdrafts of groundwater is in the Ogallala area. That is why it is very important to develop and implement the new and effective strategies to prevent depletion of groundwater in the Ogallala aquifer. It is recommended to waste less water, subsidize new water conservation methods, limit number of wells, and avoid growing of water intensive crops in this agricultural region.

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