Flood Irrigation

Chris Corbin argues that flood irrigation isn’t the bogeyman it’s frequently made out to be.

Some footnotes Chris and I came up in a twitter conversation:

This is all related to a post I’ve been cooking up, not yet completed, on the water policy version of the Jevons paradox. Its common formulation involves energy, and the assertion that efficiency measures don’t save as much energy as you think. Given groundwater recharge and return flows, the principle also applies to water.



  1. Eli – Having spent a good bit of time with the literature on these questions, suffice to say I found Koomey’s piece interesting but in no way dispositive.

  2. More or less than the Breakthrough stuff? The devil in these things is the assumption, and frankly, from watching them work Eli does not have much confidence in the BI folk.

  3. Eli – There’s a fascinating literature on this subject. You’ve found a blog post that claims to debunk a literature you obviously haven’t even read, and that’s good enough for you because it fits with your existing narrative. Can you say “confirmation bias”?

    The irony is rich, given your rightful criticism of climate skeptics who do the same…

  4. No, John, Eli has read on this issue over many years, and frankly it looks to him a lot like LeChatelier’s principle. There is a rebound effect, but you end up with a net savings it is just not 100%. Try intelligent motor controllers for a good example.

  5. Pingback: is flood irrigation efficient? - Living in Actively Moving Water

Comments are closed.