Location: Rangeland and Pasture ResearchTitle: Water: A renewable resource for life
Submitted to: Rangeland Issues
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/25/2018
Publication Date: 6/1/2018
Citation: Moffet, C. 2018. Water: A renewable resource for life. Rangeland Issues. 6(1):2.
Technical Abstract: Nearly one-third of the total U.S. land area is used for grazing, according to a 2012 USDA Economic Research Service report. With almost two-thirds of this grazing land located in 17 western states, American ranchers and land managers play a vitally important role in a global water cycle driven by the sun’s energy. Many of these hydrologic processes are outside man’s control, but some are sensitive to man’s actions at a scale important to achieving land management goals. Because these processes are most impacted by man’s actions on the ground—the active surface—land managers need to better understand the hydrologic processes to better understand how their decisions can improve the utilization, quantity, quality, and regime of the nation’s water resources. The details of how these goals can be achieved are site specific and best left to managers with site-specific knowledge; however, the principles are broadly applicable. In this article, components of the hydrologic cycle that are germane to ranches are discussed. The principles of the process are explained and links are drawn to show how management might affect these processes.