Crafting an Irrigation Sustainability Framework for Nebraska's Watersheds

In October 2018, a study on Irrigation Sustainability has been conducted by Dr. Francisco Muñoz-Arriola the leadership of the Hydroinformatics and Integrated Hydroclimate Research Group, Dr. Craig Allen and Dr. Michael Ou. The purpose of this survey was to identify the role that the polices and trade-off play in managing irrigation to meet production needs in a way that is socially acceptable, economically feasible and environmentally responsible. The objective is to identify and test the metrics that describe development paths of sustainable irrigation, which will lead to agriculture and water that is resilient to market and meteorological extremes across Nebraska. The proposed metrics will emerge from the inputs provided by water managers and stakeholders through the Irrigation Sustainability Survey (ISS). The survey will ask water managers and stakeholders to define sustainability based on their professional and personal experience. Using their responses, ISS’s metrics will create the foundational elements defining irrigation sustainability. An eventual framework will be crafted with the contribution of responders to the questionnaires and enhanced by their feedback and experiences. It is expected that the tradeoffs between proposed outcomes across various periods will be clearly evidenced by ISS’s metrics.

Some of the actions in the Irrigation Sustainability Survey (ISS) are:

  • Determine what is desired to be sustained.
  • Determine a widely accepted definition of irrigated watershed sustainability.
  • Determine the time frame for which irrigated watershed sustainability is gauged.
  • Determine the accepted metrics in which irrigated watershed sustainability is gauged.
  • Determine the effectiveness of current efforts to enhance irrigated watershed sustainability.

The proposed questionnaire was anonymous, and no personal information has been collected.

Here below some of the findings of the study and a downloadable presentation about the data collected.

To have a look at the entire presentation click to this link and let us know your feedback.