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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Parlier, California » San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center » Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #387671

Research Project: Improved Management, Quality and Utilization of Alfalfa for Dairies in the Western U.S.

Location: Water Management Research

Title: Interannual variability of water productivity on the Eastern Snake Plain in Idaho, United States

item Kelley, Jason
item OLSON, BAILEY - University Of Idaho

Submitted to: Agricultural Water Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/4/2022
Publication Date: 2/11/2022
Citation: Kelley, J.R., Olson, B. 2022. Interannual variability of water productivity on the Eastern Snake Plain in Idaho, United States. Agricultural Water Management. 265. Article 107532.

Interpretive Summary: Crop water productivity is the amount of crop yield or production for a unit of water consumed in growing that crop. Water productivity for three major crops was determined for 21 Idaho counties located in the Eastern Snake Plain over the years 2009-2019. These determinations were made using USDA-NASS crop survey data, satellite-based maps of evapotranspiration published by Idaho Department of Water Resources, and weather records from the USBR Agrimet network. Observed trends of changing water productivity reflect changes in water resource management, crop-specific management, and regional differences in irrigation practices.

Technical Abstract: Water productivity of crops must be increased to meet global demand for farm products while conserving limited water resources. Throughout the semi-arid western United States, highly productive agricultural regions face more frequent and severe droughts and must allocate limited water resources among competing uses. Irrigated agriculture accounts for the majority of consumptive water use and has a proportionately important role in managing water shortage. Water productivity accounting helps inform objective decision making regarding these allocations at the regional, local, and farm scales. Water productivity was determined using county-level crop survey data, satellite-based maps of evapotranspiration, and weather records for 21 counties located in the Eastern Snake Plain in the US state of Idaho for nine years during the period 2009-2019. Changes in water productivity over this period suggest trends that correspond to crop-specific irrigation practices, interannual variability in water supply, and regional attempts to address water shortages through conjunctive management and other equitable curtailment agreements.