Submitted to: Water Resources Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/28/2008
Publication Date: 2/11/2009
Citation: Steward, D.R., Yang, X., Chacon, S. 2009. Groundwater response to changing water-use practices in sloping aquifers using convolution of transient response functions. Water Resources Research. 45:W02412. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: An integrated foundation is presented to study the impacts of external forcings on irrigated agricultural systems. Individually, models are presented that simulate groundwater hydrogeology and econometric farm level crop choices and irrigated water use. The natural association between groundwater wells and agricultural parcels is employed to couple these models using geographic information science technology and open modeling interface protocols. This approach is used to study the collective action problem of the common pool. Three different policies (existing, regulation, and incentive based) are studied in the semiarid grasslands overlying the Ogallala Aquifer in the central United States. Results show that while regulation using the prior appropriation doctrine and incentives using a water buy back program may each achieve the same level of water savings across the study region, each policy has a different impact on spatial patterns of groundwater declines and farm level economic activity. This represents the first time that groundwater and econometric models of irrigated agriculture have been integrated at the well parcel level and provides methods for scientific investigation of this coupled natural human system. Results are useful for science to inform decision making and public policy debate.