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ARS Home » Plains Area » Bushland, Texas » Conservation and Production Research Laboratory » Soil and Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #310347

Title: Symposium Concluding Remarks: Water policy in U.S.: Happy or sad interface with ET

item Brauer, David

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/10/2014
Publication Date: 4/10/2014
Citation: Brauer, D.K. 2014. Symposium Concluding Remarks: Water policy in U.S.: Happy or sad interface with ET. [abstract]International ET Symposium. Program Booklet Page No. 16.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: This presentation summarized how refinements on the measurement and modeling of evapotranspiration (ET) from leaf to regional scales can benefit American agriculture. In the introduction, the concept that there are limited fresh water supplies globally was introduced. In addition, much of this supply is in aquifers, which the U.S. has in abundance. However, severe depletion of groundwater occurred during the 20th century on the Southern Great Plains, and in California's Central Valley, Southern Arizona basin and the lower Mississippi Valley. These depletions may have negative implications, not only from reduced water supplies, but also from agricultural processors and retailers that want to certify their supply chain as being sustainable. Examples of changes in water policies in Arkansas regarding the lower Mississippi Valley aquifers, Kansas and Texas regarding the Ogallala Aquifer, and Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas regarding the Republic River Compact and water use from the Ogallala Aquifer were presented. A better understanding of ET would be useful for policy makers in these areas by providing better estimates of water supply and demand, and the spatially distribution of supply and demand. In addition, results from ET sciences would enable famers to adhere to changing water policies by optimizing irrigation scheduling, better matching crop water use to water supply and estimating water withdrawals where metering is not practiced. The presentation concluded with the notion advances in the understanding of ET and the application of these scientific results are the cornerstone to meeting the challenging of sustaining American agricultural output as fresh water supplies decrease.