Agricultural irrigation accounts for the largest share of Texas’ current water use—56 percent of total demand in 2010. Providing adequate water at the right time is essential to ensuring decent yields and farm profitability. Water is often wasted when it evaporates. The efficiency of overhead sprinkler systems can be improved by installing low-pressure equipment that reduces the amount of time water is airborne and especially vulnerable to evaporation.
The Irrigation Water Conservation Water Management Strategy for the Llano Estacado Regional Water Plan recommends use of Low Energy Precision Application (LEPA) and Low Elevation Sprinkler (LESA) which can improve irrigation application efficiency by reducing water requirements per acre by 10 to 15 percent.
Irrigation conservation in the Llano Escatado region would protect one of the world’s largest aquifers, the Ogallala Aquifer. Extending from South Dakota to Texas, this aquifer is the main freshwater source for the Llano Escatado region. The aquifer currently supplies about 30 percent of the nation's irrigation water, and is being drained at an alarming rate. Overuse of the aquifer threatens water resources for many neotropical migratory birds, which make up one of the fastest declining bird populations in the country.
Photo credit: AgriLife Today