Posted on | July 30, 2011 | 2 Comments
Although increased irrigation efficiency is one of the most widely promoted solutions to increased water demand, its actual effects on the water balance are complex and even paradoxical. The cost to farmers of delivered irrigation water is minimal, meaning that there is little benefit from installing expensive water-conservation technology in terms of reducing costs. The only real incentive to farmers for increasing efficiency is to use what water is saved to irrigate additional land and thus increase income.
From the newly published Reining in the Rio Grande: People, Land, and Water, by Fred Phillips, Em Hall and Mary Black, which I highly recommend.